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News Release
February 01, 2002

(Camp Edwards, MA) — Recent sampling and analysis of groundwater monitoring wells as part of the Impact Area Groundwater Study Program on Camp Edwards detected perchlorate in monitoring well 90MW0054. The validated detection of perchlorate occurred outside of the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR) boundary south of the "J" Ranges and north of Snake Pond. A level of 27.8 parts per billion (ppb) was reported in the groundwater sample; a previous detection at this location was 10 ppb. The monitoring well location is illustrated on the attached map. This detection is not in the immediate vicinity of any public or private drinking water supplies and does not present an immediate health risk.

At present, neither the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nor the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP) has established maximum contaminant levels or health advisories for perchlorate. The detected concentrations are above the current action level established for the Groundwater Study Program by the New England Region of the EPA of 1.5 ppb in drinking water.

EPA has released for peer review a revised draft risk assessment of perchlorate and currently is accepting comments on this draft. The draft assessment is available at When finalized, this draft assessment will be an important update to the Agency's health and ecological assessment for potential risks resulting from exposure to perchlorate through drinking water and other sources.

The National Guard Bureau and the regulatory agencies are awaiting additional monitoring well results and will take the necessary steps to identify the nature and extent of perchlorate in the groundwater.

Perchlorate can exist as a contaminant in the environment from the solid salts of ammonium, potassium or sodium perchlorate. Ammonium and potassium perchlorate are used in solid propellants for rockets, missiles and fireworks, in addition to being used in other munitions. These items are no longer used at Camp Edwards.

Perchlorate has a relatively high solubility, which can allow it to migrate quickly to the water table. Perchlorate does not readily break down in the environment and can persist for many decades.

To speak with someone at the MMR about perchlorate, please call Christine Dolen of the Impact Area Groundwater Study Program at 508-968-5629.

The National Guard Bureau Impact Area Groundwater Study Program has been working on an investigation and cleanup of the northern 15,000 acres at Camp Edwards MMR since 1997. Working in conjunction with the EPA and MADEP, the Groundwater Study Program makes it a policy to inform the public of advances in the cleanup as well as significant detections of contaminants in the soil or groundwater.

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For more information, contact:
Christine Dolen, Senior Community Involvement Specialist, (508) 968-5629
Todd Borci, EPA New England Region 1, (617) 918-1358 or (888) 372-7341 ext. 81358
Ellie Grillo, MADEP Community Involvement Coordinator, (508) 946-2866

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