Military Munitions Scheduled for Open Detonation on Thursday
Camp Edwards, Mass. — Eight military munitions will be destroyed in open or blow-in-place detonations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 1, 2002, at Camp Edwards on the Massachusetts Military Reservation. The detonation area is approximately two miles from any of the Camp Edwards boundaries and there is no risk to residents of nearby areas.
Groundwater Study Program workers discovered the one 7-inch, one 105-millimeter and six 155-millimeter projectiles during the clearing of vegetation at the SCAR Rocket Site in the Impact Area at the center of the base. The area is being cleared for a geophysical study as part of the Munitions Survey Project investigations into unexploded ordnance and munitions disposed of or fired as a part of past training at Camp Edwards.
The Impact Area was the primary target during mortar and artillery training exercises for approximately 70 years. Some munitions failed to explode as expected when they were initially fired. Explosive experts for the Groundwater Study Program have determined that these projectiles require open detonations because they pose a potential risk to workers and are unsafe to move.
Following the detonations the soil in the area will be tested for residual explosive compounds. If any contamination is found, the soil will be covered and scheduled for removal and disposal in accordance with applicable regulations.
Two other 155-millimeter projectiles, found in the same area, were determined safe to move and are being taken to safe storage for alternate disposal. Whenever possible, munitions uncovered during the Groundwater Study Program’s investigation are recycled for scrap or, if they potentially contain explosives, are taken to safe storage for future contained detonation.
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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