By Bruce Franklin
Nearly two years ago, the State of Louisiana entered into a contract with Explosive Service International on June 17, 2015, to complete the destruction of approximately 15,687,247 pounds of M6 propellant and approximately 320,890 pounds of Clean Burning Igniter stored at Camp Minden.
The destruction of the M6 and CBI has been successfully completed in accordance with the contract.
ESI is currently conducting clean-up activities, which will take approximately 30 days and will include the burning of any residual debris. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality will also conduct air, water and soil sampling. At the conclusion of the clean-up activities, burn operations will cease and the chamber will not be used in that capacity again on Camp Minden.
“The Louisiana Military Department thanks all of the agencies and individuals who worked tirelessly to ensure the M6 and CBI was disposed of in the safest manner possible,” said Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, adjutant general of the Louisiana National Guard. “We want to express our gratitude to ESI for being consummate professionals that took this problem seriously and displayed incredible regard for our community and the safety of our citizens. It was truly a job well done.”
Following the completion of all clean-up activities, the burn chamber will sit idle while the arrangements for its removal are finalized. This process will take several months.
“Again, thank you to our community and our citizens for the trust you have placed in us and the hard work you accomplished on behalf of northwest Louisiana,” said Curtis.
“We are happy to see ESI conclude its portion of the Camp Minden mission and congratulate the company on a job well done,” LDEQ Secretary Chuck Carr Brown said. “LDEQ personnel will continue to work on the post-operations assessment.”