Open Detonations Scheduled for Thursday at Camp Edwards
Camp Edwards, Mass. — Open or blow-in-place detonations of 12 military munitions will take place Thursday, July 11, 2002, at Camp Edwards on the Massachusetts Military Reservation. The items will be destroyed between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
All of the items, which include one 5-inch rocket, six 155-milimeter practice projectiles and five 155-milimeter high-explosive projectiles, were found in the Central Impact Area, approximately two miles from the Town of Sandwich boundary. There is no risk to residents of nearby areas.
The Impact Area Groundwater Study Program discovered the munitions during Munitions Survey Project investigations into unexploded ordnance and munitions disposed of or fired as a part of past training at Camp Edwards. These items were all found on or just below the surface and appear to have been fired during historic training activities.
According to Groundwater Study Program Manager Ben Gregson, items like those being detonated Thursday are the result of munitions not exploding as expected to when they were initially fired. Gregson explained that because they failed to explode after firing, they pose an immediate safety hazard to contractors working in the area.
Whenever possible, inert munitions uncovered during the Groundwater Study Program’s investigation are recycled for scrap and any that are safe to move, but potentially contain explosives, are taken to safe storage to be destroyed in the Contained Detonation Chamber. Explosive experts for the Groundwater Study Program have determined that these twelve items are unsafe to move, so they will be blown in place.
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.
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 since 1997. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection oversee the program.
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