By JIM BUTLER
Almost 80 years after the last soldier departed, plans have been drawn for cleaning up four Camp Livingston sites there that are deemed potentially hazardous.
More than 500,000 men and women trained at the sprawling North Rapides-South Grant camp from 1941 through late 1945, learning the skills necessary to take the fight to Axis powers during World War II.
The weapons training – from rifle and pistol to artillery to tank and anti-tank – used literally millions of rounds or loads of munitions, some left unexploded when the Army went marching home from Livingston and other camps.
(The 47,000-acre camp officially closed in December 1945. By then thousands of German, Italian and Japanese POWs held there had been repatriated. And about 1,100 Japanese-American citizens interned there for four years over espionage concerns had been sent home.)
Since 2001 the Army Corps of Engineers has been charged with military munitions clean up, camp by camp, coast to coast.
At Livingston four sites are known or suspected to contain unexploded ordnance, discarded military munitions, or munitions constituents (MC).
They are: Little Creek Trail, Grenade Court No. 2, Grenade Court and the Small Arms Range.
Aside from the obvious danger of unexploded munitions there are soil and water concerns associated with sites on more than 15 million acres across the country.
Proposed and preferred plans to clean up the four Livingston areas will be discussed at an online public meeting this month.
According to the Corps, the plans and documents can be read at the Robertson Branch of the Rapides Parish Library, 809 Tioga High School Road, or on request via email.
Written comments will be accepted from the public until July 11.
They should be directed to Steven Martin, US Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District 819 Taylor Street, Room 3A12, Fort Worth, TX 76102-0300.
The online public meeting will be on Wednesday, June 21, 6-7 p.m. CST. Oral and written comments will be accepted during the meeting. The meeting will be held virtually via Microsoft Teams and may be attended by visiting www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/join-a-meeting and entering Meeting ID 212 574 030 062 and Passcode Grhww2.
For more information or email text of proposals contact: Steven.G.Martin@usace.army.mil via e-mail.