Since we are talking about black powder, Dupont in the early 1800s was the major producer of Black Powder. His modern plant blew up 6 miles of Brandywine creek near Wilmington Delaware. Following the accident he established the first comprehensive safety rules for manufacturing explosives.
He had rudimentary Quanity Distance rules to prevent massive explosions and fires. He also required that his plant managers and their families live on the plant. The latter rule probably accounts for the safety of his plants.
Recycling is a process were a material is collected reprocessed and reused. In the case of some propellants and explosives they can be processed and certain basic ingredients can be reused in the manufacture of new energetic s. Catazine is one of those materials. It cost (in 1982) roughly $1,000 per pound. The material could be reclaimed at a cost of $250 per pound.
Treatment is a method of rendering the material into its nonhazardous components. The safest method is open burn/open detonation. Unfortunately, the environmentalist have so limited this method that it is virtually impossible to use this method.
That is why several million pounds of out dated materials like 57 mm recoil-less rounds were some how mis shipped to the gulf and were blown up.
The only approved method of treatment is to run the material through an incinerator. This is a slow, extremely dangerous and costly method of eliminating the materials.
Poor management, bad luck, greed by some unscrupulous operators/companies and a failure to properly oversee the operation by the Dod, BATF and state agencies allow these type of quantities to accumulate.
these material were shipped to the facility using a Hazardous Waste Bill of Lading. A copy of that BOL is forwarded to the State Of Louisana's Environmental agency. The state knew the quantity on site and by law were required to inspect it.
Since the many of the materials were DoD the Defense Contract Management Agency (or what ever their current name is) based out of Dallas is required to inspect the facility once per quarter.
These people obviously exceeded their quantity distance tables (the greater the quantity of material the greater the distance to different types of buildings). Now it will be moved into magazines on the old Louisiana Ammunition Plant and be stored at government (our) expense until a location and method to treat or dispose of it is found.