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News Release
February 13, 2002


Dear Parents,

As part of our ongoing effort to inform and protect both residents and schoolchildren, we want to advise you that there will be an open detonation, or blow-in-place, of four unexploded munitions at Camp Edwards on the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR).

Details on the current detonation are:
What: Blow-In-Place Detonation
Date: Friday, February 15, 2002
Time: Between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm
There will be no detonations during school hours
Where: On the "J-1" Range at MMR, West of Wind Song and Grand Oak Roads

The munitions, which include three 81 mm mortars and one fuze, were discovered in a disposal area located near the entrance to the J-1 range. Army engineers determined that they cannot be safely transported or rendered safe in their present location and will be blown-in -place. Safety controls will be established prior to the detonation to assure maximum public safety. An engineered structure consisting of plywood and sandbags will be built to contain the blast. With these controls in place, there is no risk to residents of the nearby area.

The soil area surrounding the detonation will be sampled immediately following the event for residual explosive compounds. If any contamination is found, the soil will be removed and disposed of in accordance with applicable regulations.

Additional items discovered in this disposal area include 56 unfuzed 81 mm mortars and 2 burn pits. Since the mortars are safe to move, they will be transported to a safe holding area. Study and investigation of this disposal area will continue, and appropriate notifications and sampling will be conducted as required.

The Impact Area 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 on the Massachusetts Military Reservation since 1997. As part of an agreement with the elected officials in the Town of Sandwich, a procedure for neighborhood notification has been established to keep residents fully informed, at all points, of progress regarding this finding. Please feel free to call us with questions.

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For more information, please contact:
Christine Dolen, Impact Area Groundwater Study Program, 508-968-5629
Todd Borci, Environmental Protection Agency, 617-918-1358 or 888-372-7341
Ellie Grillo, MA Dept of Environmental Protection, 508-946-2866

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