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Letter: We are at a crossroads

by Minden Press-Herald

Dear Editor:

As many of your readers have learned, the cities/towns of Minden, Doyline, Sibley, Dixie Inn, Haughton, Bossier & surrounding communities are now at a crossroads. We as a people have a choice to make. We can support the position that Explosive Services International (ESI) is now taking, which is to attempt to amend their current contract (to burn the 16 Million pounds of M6, clean up the site, dismantle and move the chamber) & if allowed to amend said contract they would remain at Camp Minden, hire more employees which would require that more & more Millions of pounds of explosive HAZARDOUS material would be shipped into Camp Minden. On the other hand, we can support the growing number of concerned citizens who are actually learning what this will mean to us & to our families…and, say ABSOLUTELY NOT IN OUR BACKYARD.

There are many factors to consider:

#1 ESI is claiming to have ZERO emissions from the current burn. We know the burn chamber has done a good job, it was designed to do so; but, does anyone really believe that there are ZERO emissions? If so, I sincerely wish you had been at the CAG meeting on 2/13/17 to witness the presentation by Dr. Brian Salvatore about the numbers. I daresay you would no longer have confidence that this is true.

#2 There is also the sheer volume of Hazardous Waste that would likely be coming into our “neck of the woods”. The truth of the matter is we don’t know how much will be coming in…we don’t even know what kinds of hazardous material it will be. We have been told several different things on the number of people they would like to employ. We do know by the time they finish burning the 16 Million pounds they will have taken a year or less with about 35 employees. In addition to them wanting to hire more employees, they have said this will attract “like businesses”. They will bring in as much as they can…of that, I have no doubt. For the record, we are in favor of jobs…just not jobs in the Hazardous waste industry.

#3 Our opposition is trying to make everyone think this is just a Doyline problem & we are the only ones against
it. That could not be further from the truth! There is NOT a dome over Camp Minden/Doyline. The wind blows in all directions. And, this Hazmat would come in from all over the United States…North, South, East & West. It would come in by 18 wheelers & railcars…through our towns & on our interstates. After it gets shipped in, it has to be stored until it can be disposed of. Accidents happen (no matter who is in charge), oversight slips, equipment ages, companies sell out to other companies & the list goes on & on.

#4 Our primary concern is the health & well-being of our families. We have approximately 3,000 students in schools within a 4 mile radius of the burn chamber. Haughton High School has 1,296 kids, the projected enrollment for the new Haughton Middle School is 1,000 kids, Doyline High School has 501 kids & YCP at Camp Minden has 200-300 kids at any given time. Please hear my heart on this…I am an avid supporter of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. My husband & I became Partners In Hope in 1983 after watching an infomercial about this amazing place, and we have supported the efforts by the giving & caring people of Minden & the surrounding communities for years & years…but, if you are one of those people who work so hard to help St Jude help kids who already have cancer & you are not yet involved in stopping this from becoming our new normal…I humbly ask you to reconsider. I ask you to help us fight this from becoming a reality…in hopes that our babies will never need to make that dreaded journey to St Jude to begin with.

#5 We are being told & some have been convinced that this will be good for our local economy & that because our population is stagnate, that this will be a boost to that as well. I submit to you that this is so not true. Ask yourself this one question….”would I KNOWINGLY move to an area whose claim to fame is that they are the Nations Premier Hazardous Waste Disposal Site? I fear we would have a mass exodus of young families & our property values would tank!

We are a grassroots movement…we certainly don’t have deep pockets & we need help. Please join us by contacting your WPPJ, BPPJ, State Representatives, State Senators & our Governor & telling them we the people don’t want this. They have said they will do what the people want…we hope this is true.

One last thing…the Dialogue Committee & the CAG are to be commended, not disrespected. They worked tirelessly for months & months to find a solution that we all could live with…literally. Were it not for all of those good folks, 16 Million pounds of M6 would have been open burned right here in my backyard…and, in your backyard. Please thank them if you see them.

Sherrie Moseley
Concerned Citizen

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