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News Release
August 13, 2002

Military Munitions Investigation Begins Near Sandwich Boundary

Camp Edwards, Mass. — An investigation of 10 possible military-munitions burial sites will begin Wednesday, August 14, 2002, near Camp Edwards’ boundary with the Forestdale neighborhood of Sandwich.

Excavations will take place in the former defense contractor test range and military training area known as the N Range, which is located approximately 500 feet off Greenway Road in the area south of Wood Road. The investigation, being conducted as part of the Groundwater Study Program’s Munitions Survey Project, is expected to take a week.

Last winter, more than 2,000 inert mortars were found in a burial site on this range. If any additional munitions burials are found, work will stop and the area will be secured until town and school officials, and residents of the surrounding area are notified. Notifications also will be made if any potentially explosive items are to be moved or detonated as part of the cleanup in this area.

The 10 areas being investigated were identified with the use of ground-based magnetometry, magnetic surveys to locate metal objects beneath the surface. These surveys indicated a large number of metal objects buried in the range areas, but it is impossible to tell from the readings if the items are munitions. The Groundwater Study Program contractors systematically are investigating magnetic patterns large enough to be burials.

According to Groundwater Study Program Environmental Restoration Chief Major Bill Myer, these sites are a priority because of their proximity to Sandwich. Myer says the Groundwater Study Program is continuing its efforts to locate and clean up disposal and burial sites to eliminate potential safety hazards and protect the groundwater beneath the ranges.

The Groundwater Study Program, led by the National Guard Bureau, has been working on an investigation and cleanup of the upper 15,000 acres at Camp Edwards since 1997. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection oversee the program.

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For more information, contact:
Christine Dolen, Groundwater Study Program, (508) 968-5630
Todd Borci, EPA New England Region 1, (617) 918-1358 or (888) 372-7341 ext. 81358
Ellie Grillo, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, (508) 946-2866

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