Letters have been sent out to private residents in the Doyline area asking permission to sample their water, and Army National Guard officials are encouraging them to sign those permission forms and send them in.
Bonnie Packer, Army National Guard project manager contract support, asked Camp Minden Citizen Advisory Group members to contact their neighbors and get them to return the rights of entry forms to allow them to come in to sample.
“In order for us to actually come and do the sampling for the community, because the property is owned by someone other than the government, we need a signature on those rights of entry letters,” she said. “It’s very important that we get the assistance of the community. They have to sign both letters, and then the Corps of Engineers, the government, signs off on the letters and then they send the property owner one of the two letters before it’s executed.”
In September, ARNG officials will be going to each location to which they’ve gained permission to see what the setup is for each one.
“We need to see where the setup is, where the spigot is, whether there’s a treatment system before the spigot, how it’s laid out to make sure all those properties are going to be appropriate for sampling, which is why we have primaries and backups,” she said.
In June, Packer and CAG narrowed down the wells and surface water areas to be tested to 22 wells and two water bodies around Camp Minden – Bayou Dorcheat and Boone Creek, which runs into Bayou Dorcheat.
Packer says ARNG took the community’s ideas on where to test and funding and came up with the current map of the public/private split of wells to sample.
“We came up with a list of primaries and backups with a list of public wells and private wells,” she said. “We took into consideration the idea of spreading out the sampling area. Where wells were grouped, we didn’t do the entire group, we chose one per group. That way we could achieve the spread you requested.”
ARNG will be testing for volatiles, semi-volatiles and other contaminants in the water to get a baseline for when destruction of the M6 propellant, currently underway, is completed.
She says best case scenario is to begin testing in October, and testing should only take three to seven days to complete. The samples from each well will be sent to a laboratory, and the lab will send the results back to be validated. Packer says that takes about 60 days to complete.
She says she hopes to bring back the results in January 2017.