Colfax

Parish: Grant Parish

Clean Harbors Colfax has operated an open burn/open detonation facility for explosives and reactive waste near Colfax since August 2002. Prior to that, the facility operated from 1983 while owned by R & D Fabricating & Manufacturing, Laidlaw Environmental Services, Rollins and Safety-Kleen. It is the only commercial facility open burning explosives and reactive waste streams in the United States. Beginning in August 2014, the facility accepted and burned military waste from Camp Minden and was allowed to increase the waste streams and quantity of waste they could burn. A long history of community concerns over air emissions and health impacts was punctuated by the recent(2018) tank failure releasing potentially contaminated water into the environment. Residents are also impacted by the noise of loud detonations and the resulting vibrations that shake nearby homes. The closest residents live in a predominantly African American community referred to as “The Rock.” Residents are working to reduce their exposure and the contamination of the environment by requiring the Clean Harbors facility to utilize clean alternate technologies and end open burning/open detonation.

This atlas is a working document developed by community members in partnership with LEAN as they work toward resolving the challenges they face. This content is under construction and continues to be refined as new data is compiled and community situations evolve. Please excuse any errors or omissions. It is our hope that documentation of these struggles allows a greater opportunity to learn from them and, ultimately, to improve the lives of residents across Louisiana who face these significant challenges.