Thursday, October 17, 2019

EPA completes review of Louisiana munitions-disposal plan

U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) | Contributed photo
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed a technical review of a plan to dispose of improperly stored munitions at Camp Minden in Webster Parish, Louisiana, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) said on Friday.

Vitter, who has been working with the EPA and state and parish officials to find a viable solution to the munitions problem since 2013, has been pushing the use of alternate technology, as opposed to an open burn. The proposed plan, for a contained burn, would include air-pollution control options and give those handling deteriorating materials some flexibility in their approach.

“This is a positive development and should get us closer to disposing of the dangerous explosive material at Camp Minden” Vitter said. “I’m still very confident that the abandoned explosives will be disposed of in a way that fully addresses the health and safety concerns, as well as cleaning up this mess as quickly as possible. I’ll continue aggressively encouraging the Army to adopt a contained-burn process.”

The EPA supports the contained-burn plan, and the state now must create a detailed work plan for conducting the burn, as well as authorize and contract for the work to be done.

Louisiana State Police first discovered the abandoned explosives, which were left by defense contractor Explo Systems, in 2012. While the Department of Defense did not immediately admit having authority, actions by Vitter and other Louisiana officials drove the department, as well as the EPA, to assist in the disposal.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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