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News Release
December 19, 2002

Kent "Hap" Gonser Appointed Interim Program Manager for Camp Edwards’ Groundwater Program

Arlington, Va. — The Department of the Army, in cooperation with the National Guard Bureau (NGB), announced today that Kent "Hap" Gonser will act as interim program manager for the Impact Area Groundwater Study Program. This position is designed to provide support and leadership for the groundwater cleanup at Camp Edwards on the Massachusetts Military Reservation.

As interim program manager, Gonser will lead the multi-year groundwater investigation and cleanup, and serve as the project coordinator and liaison to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, which oversee the program. The selection process for a permanent program manager is expected to be completed by March 2003.

Gonser, who joined the Massachusetts Military Reservation’s Joint Program Office (JPO) in 1997, is best known for working with both the community and the military to assure that the Department of Defense (DoD) system providing water for the four Upper Cape towns became a reality in 2001. Last spring, Gonser facilitated emergency installation of a pipeline connecting the Bourne Water District with the new Upper Cape Water Supply Cooperative in his role as DoD Water Supply Coordinator.

During his five years with the JPO and more recently with the E&RC, Gonser served as Environmental Programs Coordinator, working with the Groundwater Program, the Installation Restoration Program, Camp Edwards, Otis Air National Guard Base and USCG Air Station Cape Cod. When first assigned to the JPO, he worked primarily on the Groundwater Program. As water supply projects at the MMR grew, his focus shifted. Now that his JPO duties are completed, he is able to return to the Groundwater Program.

According to Ben Gregson, the current Program Manager for the Groundwater Program, Gonser is a Cape resident and has worked with the Groundwater Program in some capacity since shortly after its inception. "We are pleased to have someone who knows the community, the people and the issues involved in our investigation and cleanup, joining our team. We know his support will be a great benefit to the program from day one. "

Prior to coming to MMR, Gonser worked in the Pentagon at the Army’s Office of the Director of Environmental Programs on the development of the EPA Military Munitions Rule and the Department of Defense Range Rule. He also served in the military for 25 years in a number of U.S. and overseas commands.

As the program manager, Gonser will serve the conduit between the cleanup program and the Army, streamlining communications and decision-making. His responsibilities also will include partnering with the EPA and MADEP to determine the actions required to comply with all environmental regulations and complete the investigation and cleanup in timely manner.

According to Ray Fatz, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health, Gonser has extensive experience in environmental projects across the country and is bringing that expertise and support to the groundwater cleanup at Camp Edwards.

"We believe that Gonser’s involvement, will accelerate and support the program’s efforts to restore the Cape Cod Aquifer. We all look forward to working with the EPA and MADEP to establish a vision, goals and end-state for the Groundwater Program’s investigation and cleanup, and to find the best way to achieve them," Deputy Assistant Secretary Fatz said.

Lt. Col. Jerry Walter, National Guard Bureau chief of environmental programs, said that Gonser will work in conjunction with the existing staff of professionals currently involved in the Groundwater Program. "The geologists, technicians and other specialists currently working on the program will continue to focus their extensive knowledge and technical expertise on the program’s main goal of protecting public health and the environment by cleaning up the groundwater."

The Groundwater Program began in 1997. It initially was charged with a study of the potential contamination at Camp Edwards’ Impact Area. In the past five years, additional requirements have expanded the program’s scope. It now is a large-scale investigation and remediation effort. According to Gregson, "We are presently entering a major phase of active cleanup. We welcome Hap’s expertise in helping us achieve our program’s goals."

Gonser received a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He also has Masters of Science degrees in Civil Engineering and Management and a Masters of Arts degree in Strategic Planning. A Buffalo, NY, native, Gonser currently resides in Sandwich with his family.

For further information on Groundwater Program activities, log on to

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For more information, contact:
Christine Dolen, Groundwater Program, (508) 968-5629

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