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EPA: Army responsible for clean up at Camp Minden - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

EPA: Army responsible for clean up at Camp Minden

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Washington, DC -

Clean up at Camp Minden is the Army's responsibility, according to a determination by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

It comes almost 21 months after an explosion rocked the community of Doyline.

The determination finalizes the order the EPA first issued to the army back in March, and was issued to the Army Wednesday. However, KTBS only learned about it Thursday afternoon.

It was after Senator Mary Landrieu met with an Army representative in a meeting attended by Louisiana officials.

“The Army finally came to the table after two years of really resisting any responsibility,” Sen. Landrieu said. “They were at the table and they realize they have a role to play.”

Assistant Secretary of the Army Katherine Hammack met with Louisiana officials and experts to hear their reasons on why the Army should be responsible for the clean up of about 15 million pounds of M-6 propellant at Camp Minden.

According to State Representative Gene Reynolds, who flew to Washington, D.C. to be at the meeting, the state of the explosives was stressed; the M-6 deteriorates and becomes more unstable each day.

“I think they finally understood that we need to get that disposed of right away,” said Reynolds. “It's in bunkers; it's safe and that's a good thing. But even in the bunkers, we don't want the bunkers blowing up and causing damage out at Camp Minden.”

The EPA's order goes into effect in five days, July 21st, and the Army has until July 26th to notify the EPA its intent to comply.

Assigning responsibility for handling the military grade explosives is not only a huge public safety milestone, but would spare the state as much as $30 million in cleanup costs.

The Department of Justice will then work with all of the parties involved to come up with a plan to actually get rid of this material.

Also Thursday, Senator David Vitter announced he will block a nomination in the US Senate until the Army disposes of the military grade explosives at Camp Minden. He says he will not allow Alissa Starzak to become General Counsel of the Department of the Army until the munitions are cleaned up.

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