By Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office
PINEVILLE, La. – A team of seven personnel from the Army’s 797th Ordnance Company (EOD) and 79th Ordnance Battalion (EOD) from Fort Hood, Texas, will conduct the first of three burns to destroy the Clean Burning Ignitor (CBI) Friday, Oct. 28, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., at the Louisiana National Guard’s Camp Minden in Minden.
The first burn will consist of 820 pounds of CBI in magazine #505 in Area L2. If operational and weather conditions remain favorable, the second burn will be conducted Sunday, Oct. 30, of magazine #2432 between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. The third and final burn of magazine #2471 will be conducted Saturday, Nov. 5, if conditions remain favorable. The doors of each magazine will be remotely opened.
If changes to the stated times occur, updates will be released on the LANG’s social media sites and to the media.
On Oct. 4-5, a technical assistance visit team conducted a site assessment following the Sept. 29, auto-ignition of approximately 120,000 pounds of CBI. The team concluded that the remaining CBI posed an imminent risk of auto-igniting and is a danger to public safety.
The Louisiana State Police and Louisiana Military Department then submitted a request for assistance to the Department of the Army, which was approved. The execution order for the approved request was sent late Monday to the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) to provide EOD support to LMD. The EOD team will begin an on-site survey and development of an EOD explosive operations plan that adheres to Department of Defense explosives safety standards and EOD procedures on Oct. 27.
EOD will work in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Louisiana State Police.
The EPA and LDEQ will collect ambient air at four stationary locations around the operations and analyze for total metals, hydrogen cyanide, the three semi-volatile organic chemicals of concern (Diphenylamine, Dinitrotoluen and Dibutylphalate), fine particulate matter and coarse particulate matter. The EPA will also conduct real time monitoring downwind of the disposal operations with the Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzer bus for diphenylamine and hydrogen cyanide.
The EPA and LDEQ do not expect offsite impacts from the burns, but are taking precautions to be conservative and protective of public and responder safety.
The Louisiana State Police and their Emergency Service Unit will ensure the safety of emergency responders on-site, the safe mitigation and remediation of all explosive materials, and assist EOD partners to help facilitate the disposal.
“The Louisiana National Guard, Louisiana Military Department and all of our partner agencies will continue to communicate the plan as we work through this process,” said Col. Ed Bush, state public affairs officer for the LANG. “We will continue to ensure the safety of our community and thank all our stakeholders for their hard work and trust as we have worked through this together.”
Approximately 320,890 pounds of CBI was initially stored in three magazines. After the auto-ignition, two-thirds of the CBI remains, or approximately 200,000 pounds.
Winds greater than 15 mph, low cloud cover or lightning within 10 miles are conditions that could delay any of the burns.
Explosives Services International is the contractor working to destroy the 15 million pounds of M6 propellant that was illegally stored by Explo Services, Inc., in 2012. ESI has continued to safely destroy M6 from magazines outside the contained area. To date, 7.5 million pounds of M6, or 46.9 percent, has been destroyed. For more information on monitoring, please visit: http://www.esicampminden.com.
The point of contact for the Louisiana National Guard regarding this incident is Col. Ed Bush at (318) 290-5027 or firstname.lastname@example.org.