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Method of M6 disposal recommended

by Minden Press-Herald

The committee formed a few weeks ago to review the 10 bids submitted for the disposal of approximately 15 million pounds of M6 has made its recommendation.

David Gray, with EPA Region 6, says the Louisiana Military Department has submitted its recommendation for an alternative technology to the open tray burn method originally chosen to dispose of the propellant. Ron Curry, regional administrator, says this is good progress.

“Important progress is being made in the selection of an alternative technology for disposal of M6 and CBI (clean burning igniter) at Camp Minden,” Curry said. “…the LMD met the Administrative Order on Consent deadline by submitting a vendor recommendation for EPA review and action. EPA continues to support an alternative technology for disposal and is quickly working to conclude efforts necessary in helping the state finalize its plans.”

The method and vendor of choice is not being released at this time, Gray says, because the EPA has to review it. He says the EPA expects to act promptly on the state’s recommendation.

The guidelines the committee used to choose a method and vendor were submitted by the Camp Minden Dialogue Committee that spent just a little over a month discussing alternative technologies to disposing of the millions of pounds of M6 propellant stored at Camp Minden.

The goal of the guidelines was to ensure the health and safety of the communities nearest Camp Minden and surrounding areas.

Frances Kelly, with Louisiana Progress Action, has been a staunch supporter and advocate for the safe disposal of the munitions at Camp Minden, and she hopes the EPA chooses the safest method possible.

“I hope the State of Louisiana has chosen the safest possible method for the cleanup,” she said. “I hope the EPA will only approve it if they have in fact chosen the safest method, and I’m prepared to keep working with all the different people and agencies in the community that have fought for safe disposal to make sure that it is the safest method and that the disposal happens in the safest way possible and the community and workers are protected.”

A citizens’ advisory group is currently being formed to oversee the cleanup at Camp Minden. The purpose of the group is to make sure the contractors and all agencies involved are following the applicable laws and criteria set forth to protect the health of the community and the environment.

Although she has yet to attend the meetings conducted so far, she intends to be a part of the group.

“That group will help ensure that the cleanup at Camp Minden is done safely,” she said.
The group will be comprised of community members from municipalities that will be affected, people with different skills sets, ex officio members from the agencies involved and others.
Kelley says it’s similar to the makeup of the Camp Minden Dialogue Committee but it is not yet fully formed.

Dialogue committee member Ron Hagar has been heading up the formation of the committee.

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