Progress for taking out the contained burn chamber at Camp Minden is slow due to financing the remaining cleanup and removal.
Rep. Gene Reynolds, D-Minden, said he spoke with Louisiana National Guard Adjutant General Glenn Curtis Thursday regarding the last steps to dismantling the burn unit and restoring the site.
“There was some concern, and I called Gen. Curtis to get an update,” Reynolds said. “Two things – one, the chamber will be taken down, and two, the process is being held up by the Department of Justice.”
Reynolds said there is nothing bad about that, but the DOJ has not paid out the remaining $3 million needed to finish the cleanup at the burn chamber site.
“There’s no problem with it, it’s just the government moves slow,” he said.
While the removal process moves forward, the ownership dispute between Explosive Service International and the National Guard has not been resolved. Some months ago, Winston Matejowsky, the M6 project coordinator, confirmed the dispute in the June Community Advisory Group meeting, saying both sides claim ownership of the burn unit and all its components. Col. Ed Bush, National Guard public information officer, said the Louisiana Military Department and the contractor are still working on the completion of the Post-Removal Site Closure Plan.
“The specifics of (the burn chamber’s) removal are still being worked out,” he said. “The ownership of the Burn Chamber is also still being worked out. Removal of the chamber does not necessarily require complete dismantlement, but the chamber will be removed from Camp Minden.”
In a Facebook post Friday, Reynolds said he was told some companies are interested in purchasing the burn chamber, and those companies are out of state, and one is even overseas.
“There are at least three companies that want to purchase the chamber and move it from Camp Minden to out of state sites and one to out of the country,” Reynolds wrote. “(Curtis) said 30 days or less for this to happen. He also emphasized that under no circumstance will the chamber stay at Camp Minden.”