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News Releases from Region 06

EPA Approves Contained-Burn System for Camp Minden Disposal

Contact Information: 
Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard (R6Press@epa.gov)
214 665-2200

DALLAS – (June 13, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) has completed its review of the initial comprehensive performance test and formally approved the contained-burn system for use in disposing of 16 million pounds of M6 propellant and clean burning igniter held at the Louisiana Military Department’s Camp Minden in Minden, La. The expedited report for the destruction of M6 showed the system destroyed 99.99% of the chemicals of concern. 

The results of performance tests conducted in May, reviewed by EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), showed the contained-burn system could safely dispose of the unstable explosive material, resolving the years-long risk to the surrounding community. The Continuous Emissions Monitoring System Relative Accuracy Test Audit confirmed the accuracy and reliability of the continuous emissions monitoring system. 

“The safety of the Camp Minden community has always been our priority in managing this site, and today we see the efforts of citizen leaders and our government partners pay off,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “By including community voices in the decision process, we found a solution that accounted for everyone’s concerns.”

With EPA’s approval, the contractor chosen by the Louisiana Military Department can now begin full-scale destruction of nearly 16 million pounds of material that has been deteriorating to an unstable, dangerous state for several years. EPA, along with the Louisiana Military Department and LDEQ, created an unprecedented partnership with the citizens of the Minden community to develop a plan for disposal that would not affect the area’s environment, especially air quality. Once the contained-burn system begins operating at full capacity, destruction of all the M6 propellant will take about 12 months. 

The state-of-the-art contained-burn system being used was specially constructed for the Camp Minden site and includes one of the most advanced pollution-abatement systems in the world. The system was designed, built, and transported to the site in just eight months in order to start disposing of the deteriorating explosive material as quickly as possible. EPA and LDEQ also approved the Operating Parameter Limits for the system. 

Public safety will remain the highest priority during the disposal process. With oversight from EPA and LDEQ, the Louisiana Military Department will closely monitor and report on emissions from the unit and air quality in the surrounding community. Daily reports and other information are available to the public at https://www.epa.gov/la/camp-minden

EPA, LDEQ and Louisiana Military Department continue to work closely with the Camp Minden Community Advisory Group, who meet monthly to share information with the surrounding community. Under the Technical Assistance Services for Communities program, Dr. Slawo Lomnicki, Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences from Louisiana State University, provides independent assistance, although funded by EPA, to explain and review information to the community.

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