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ABSTRACT: Natural Attenuation of Explosives at the Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant, Minden, Louisiana


A three-year study of natural attenuation of explosives at Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant (LAAP) is) currently being conducted. This research effort is a demonstration project designed to assess the feasibility of, and to develop guidance for, selection and implementation of natural attenuation of explosives as a possible remediation alternative for groundwater and soils.

LAAP is a government owned facility located 22 miles east of Shreveport, LA. The 14, 974 acre plant manufactured high explosives (TNT and RDX) and load and pack ammunition items between 1942 and 1995. As part of the manufacturing activities, 16 unlined ponds were dug in fine grained silty-sands to contain the wastewater contaminated with TNT and RDX. These ponds covered an area of approximately 25 acres and received explosive-laden water sporadically between 1942 and 1981. LAAP was selected for the natural attenuation project because the source of contamination has been removed, ten years of annual ground water quality data exists, and 71 monitoring wells are installed on the site. Of the 71 existing wells, 30 were selected for a two year sampling program. These 30 wells were sampled and analyzed for explosives monthly from February through August 1996 and will be monitored quarterly through 1998.

Preliminary examination of plume maps revealed that RDX has migrated farther than TNT in spite of the greater aqueous solubility of TNT. This observation supports the case that natural attenuation of TNT is occurring at LAAP.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90941©1997 GCAGS 47th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana