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News Release
March 5, 2002

Camp Edwards Schedules Unexploded Munitions Detonation

(Camp Edwards, MA) — Several open or "blow-in-place" detonations of unexploded munitions will be conducted Thursday, March 7, at Camp Edwards on the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR). The detonations, which do not affect the Sandwich buffer zone, will take place between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The items being blown-in-place include one rocket located in Demolition Area I, and seven projectiles and one mortar located in the Central Impact Area. Detonations in the Central Impact Area also will include eleven 60-mm mortars. These mortars are suspected to contain white phosphorous, a highly flammable substance, which makes them unsuitable for storage or for destroying in the Contained Detonation Chamber. Army engineers working with the Impact Area Groundwater Study Program have determined that all the items represent an immediate hazard to workers investigating the area for sources of groundwater and soil contamination.

Safety controls are being used to ensure there is no risk to residents of the nearby area. Massachusetts Army National Guard contractors also will be responsible for the subsequent sampling of the area's soil for residual explosive compounds. If any contamination is found, the soil will be removed and disposed of 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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For more information, contact:
Todd Borci, EPA New England Region 1, (617) 918-1358 or (888) 372-7341 ext. 81358
Pam Richardson, Groundwater Study Program, (508) 968-5630
Ellie Grillo, MADEP Community Involvement Coordinator, (508) 946-2866

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