A local delegation made up of Louisiana representatives and House Committee members on Homeland Security are in the Ark-La-Tex gathering information to take back to Baton Rouge. The information will be used in a hearing that will address the propellant Louisiana State Police deemed had been improperly stored and possibly hidden by Explo Inc. at Camp Minden.
On Wednesday lawmakers, including Rep. Jeff Thompson, will meet with Louisiana State Police to find out the status of operations to move the propellant, which started on Saturday, and the criminal investigation that followed the October 15th blast.
"I've been dealing with staff in Baton Rouge and in the Homeland Security division to find out what are the laws currently on the books that they have violated," said Rep. Thompson.
Legislators are expected to schedule a hearing sometime in January, and they hope the criminal investigation will be complete by that time.
They want to craft laws that will prevent what they consider a dangerous and haphazard way of storing the 6 million lbs of material which can be seen stacked on pallets in video taken from a flyover.
Thompson says the hearing will also address the tremendous cost of moving the material, providing law enforcement manpower, and the costs incurred by those who were displaced as a result of the evacuation.
"Our concern from a state level, it's a funding concern, these are not things that are built into the budgets, and these expenses, the tax payers are having to shoulder, should not be the responsibility of the tax payer," said Thompson.
The hearing is expected to be scheduled sometime in January. Legislators hope the criminal investigation will be complete by then. Explo representatives will be encouraged to attend the hearing, Lawmakers aren't optimistic they'll be there. However, Thompson says the House has subpoena power. It's still unclear if that discretion will be used.
Sunday, May 19 2013 12:59 AM EDT2013-05-19 04:59:50 GMT
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