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Experts discuss M6 disposal options for Camp Minden

Opponents of a plan to burn 15 million pounds of M6 artillery propellant in storage at Camp Minden say several much safer alternatives should be considered.

State Rep. Gene Reynolds of Minden was among speakers in a teleconference Thursday assembled by the activist group Louisiana Progress Action.

Reynolds is meeting with munitions experts at the Pentagon on Friday. He wants to call a joint meeting of the state’s Homeland Security oversight committee to allow federal and state agencies and the military to testify under oath about the status of the explosives.

The plan to openly burn the deteriorating M6 has been widely criticized in recent weeks.

“All of the legislators -- federal and state -- do not want an open burn,” Reynolds said. “All the citizens do not want an open burn. Now, it’s bomb throwing back and forth. The latest is, the EPA is telling me they would consider another method.”

Craig Williams of the Chemical Weapons Working Group says three alternative disposal methods are federally certified as safe ways to get rid of explosives. Reynolds expects that the bids from the M6 disposal request for proposal will be made public in a matter of days. Reynolds did not know if the proposals look at other methods than open burning.

“The Army, in my opinion, needs to write us a blank check to get rid of this stuff,” Reynolds said.

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