Ban Open Burning of Munitions and Waste Explosives in Louisiana

WHEREAS, In 2012, an uncontrolled explosion at Camp Minden revealed the improper storage of millions of pounds of chemicals and explosives, including materials 25-35 years old and in a deteriorating state, that had been poorly managed for disposal and eventually abandoned by Explo Systems, which had declared bankruptcy; and

WHEREAS, in response, Governor Bobby Jindal issued proclamation No 129 BJ 2013, which declared a state of emergency at Camp Minden, and in 2014, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US Army, Louisiana Military Department and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) signed an Administrative Order of Consent to clean up the propellant and chemicals stored at Camp Minden; and

WHEREAS, the citizens of Minden and other concerned citizens in the state objected to disposal of the 16 million pounds of volatile chemicals by open detonation of explosives and an open-tray burn method of disposal due to concerns about safety and pollution of air, soil and water in the area; and

WHEREAS, a contained burn method was eventually selected as the preferred choice for disposal by US EPA through a community dialogue process; and

WHEREAS, the state of Louisiana, in partnership with the US EPA, is currently engaged in the largest disposal project in the United States for expired munitions at the Camp Minden Louisiana National Guard facility using a contained burn system with an advanced pollution abatement system to destroy the munitions and igniters; and

WHEREAS, this contained burn system is being successfully implemented and is proving to be a safe and environmentally-sound solution in disposing volatile and hazardous munition waste at Camp Minden; and

WHEREAS, the State of Louisiana has permitted a commercial facility in Colfax in Grant Parish to facilitate the open burning and open detonation of waste explosive materials and chemicals that are received from sources around the country; and

WHEREAS, the chemicals in these propellants, specifically dinitrotoluene, dibutyl phthalate, and dioxin are known to be harmful carcinogens in humans;

WHEREAS, the Louisiana Legislature passed House Concurrent Resolution No. 118 in the 2016 Regular Legislative Session to request the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to develop and implement a sampling plan for testing of the soil, ground water, and air at the permitted commercial facility in Colfax; and

WHEREAS, the LWF board of directors voted to support sending a letter of opposition to using open tray burning for munitions waste disposal at Camp Minden in 2014 and voted in April 2016 to support a ban on the open burn of munitions waste in Louisiana.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Louisiana Wildlife Federation supports the use of contained burn method to dispose of munitions or waste explosive and supports a ban on the permitting or licensing of open burning of any munitions or waste explosives in Louisiana.

Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in Convention Assembled, August 20, 2016 in Bossier City, Louisiana.

Submitted By: LWF Executive Committee and Rapides Wildlife Association
LWF Committee: Environmental Quality
Resolution #:03E, 2016
Date Proposed:08/01/2016
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