Doyline / Camp Minden

Minden and Doyline are located in Webster Parish. The population of Minden is around 11,000 with a majority African-American population (U.S. Census Data 2022). Nearby Doyline has a population of approximately 600, with a predominantly white population (U.S. Census Data 2020).

In the 1980s, the Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant in Doyline became a Superfund Site after explosives wastewater was disposed of in lagoons which contaminated soil and groundwater (EPA Superfund Site). The site was decontaminated through a process called natural attenuation. The EPA and The Citizens Advisory Group continue to do groundwater monitoring (Minden-Press Herald 2017).

In October of 2012, an explosion at Camp Minden sent a 7,000-foot mushroom cloud into the sky and revealed that 15 million pounds of toxic explosives were being stored there illegally by Explo Systems Inc (ESI). In 2013, ESI abandoned the materials and filed for bankruptcy. In January of 2014, the EPA began to work with outside companies to clean up the site (EPA Camp Minden 2023).

The Louisiana Military Department proposed that ESI use the Contained Burn Method to dispose of 15 million lbs of M6 Propellant and 320,000 lbs of Clean Burning Igniter (CBI). The EPA worked with a Dialogue Committee to get public input on the potential disposal method. Education workshops were provided to the community to discuss sampling and air monitoring. (EPA Camp Minden 2023).

In 2016, a bunk on site containing CBI exploded. Various state officials responded to the scene including the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team. The military proposed to open burn the M6 explosives. The community objected and working through a dialogue committee, alternative technologies to open burning were identified. A closed contained burn system was selected with extensive air emission destruction units. Between October 4th 2016, and April 12th 2017, EOD performed a “remote in-place disposal operation” for the remaining materials at the site.

As of January 2023, the LDEQ and LMD are waiting for bids to implement “Post Closure Plan activities”, which included removing equipment, and soil, water, and groundwater sampling. (EPA Camp Minden 2023).