CAMP MINDEN, LA — A blast from an Explo bunker located at Camp Minden in October 2012 brought unwanted attention to the company. It was just the beginning of the explosive recycling company's problems.
In late November, Louisiana State Police were doing a follow-up investigation after the explosion and stumbled across millions of pounds of illegally stored explosives. The illegal and dangerous activity sparked a week-long evacuation for residents of Doyline and a criminal investigation into Explo by Louisiana State Police.
Those actions aren't the only reason Explo is being investigated. Based on a proposal from Explo, the Army's Joint Munitions Command entered into a contract with Explo worth about $2.9 million in 2010. According to the contract, Explo was to demilitarize up to 450,000 propelling charges a year with a four year option.
Storage of the explosives was not the reason that Explo was picked for the contract, as they were expected to sell the product. But even so, it seems that Explo allegedly made their storage options more extensive than they actually were.
In the proposal, Explo states that between facilities in Louisiana and Kentucky, the company had room to store over 70 million pounds of propellant. However, the Department of Natural Resources in Kentucky says otherwise, stating that neither Explo or Kentucky Powder, Inc., the company Explo said they would be working with, had or has a permit to purchase, which is required to store the product in Kentucky.
Even with those possible storage problems, it wasn't until LSP came to investigate at Camp Minden that the Army heard about any possible problem and was asked to stop deliveries to Explo. Those deliveries are still suspended.