It would probably shock most of us to know just how close we come to high explosives everyday. Have you ever really thought about what is in that truck that is stopped beside you on the highway? What about the railroad car that is slowly crawling by you at the crossing gate? Those are just chance encounters but thinking about them is kind of scary, isn't it? People that live within 10 miles of Camp Minden in North Louisiana know that scary feeling everyday when they go home.

Right now Camp Minden is home to 15 million pounds of M-6 propellent. If you don't speak military, M-6 propellent is used by the military to fire really large guns...I mean, the really really big guns. Now, imagine 15 million pounds of that stuff sitting just down from where you live. Now, imagine that you've been told that it's slowly decaying and could explode without warning or without reason. That's the reality.

Here's the good news, there are finally steps being taken to get rid of this volatile and shaky substance, but it's going to take some time and take some money. By some time, I mean two or three months to build a facility to dispose of the propellant. By some money, I mean at least 19 million dollars.

Baton Rouge based Explosive Services International was awarded the contract and their fees will be paid by the United States Government. Okay, it really will be you and I paying for this with our taxes but at least there is an agreement to get this unstable time bomb cleaned up and disposed of.

Here's another caveat to consider. The older the M-6 gets, the more unstable it gets. As of right now nobody knows just how old the stuff at Camp Minden is. I certainly hope the ladies and gents at Explosive Services International have their game plan and their safety plan in place, because in theory, one explosion could create a chain reaction of explosions and that would be devastating sight that none of us want to see.


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