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News Release
May 14, 2002

Munitions Scheduled for Detonation at Camp Edwards

Camp Edwards, Mass. — Five munitions found in recent burial and burn pit excavations on the southeast corner of the ranges at Camp Edwards will be destroyed in an open or blow-in-place detonation Thursday, May 16, 2002, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. by contractors for the Impact Area Groundwater Study Program.

The items being destroyed include four 66-millimeter HEAT projectiles and one 81-millimeter mortar. The detonations will not affect the Sandwich neighborhood buffer zone. There is no risk to residents of the surrounding area.

The munitions were discovered during the investigation of a burial pit in the J-2 range. Excavation work, which was completed last week, uncovered 789 munitions-related items and 500 pounds of scrap. Most of munitions were expended or inert and more than 750 items are scheduled for recycling. The remaining items will be moved to a safe storage area for future disposal in the Contained Detonation Chamber.

Massachusetts Army National Guard contractors have determined that the five items being blown in place potentially contain hazardous fusing components and are unsafe to move. Since they could represent a danger to workers in the area, they will be blown in place.

Following the detonation the soil in the area will be tested for residual explosive compounds. If any contamination is found, the soil will be scheduled for removal and disposal in accordance with applicable regulations.

Potential burn and burial sites in the southeast corner ranges are being investigated as part of the Munitions Survey Project. This program, begun in 1997, is responsible for locating and clearing unexploded munitions, which could potentially pose a threat to human safety and contaminate the groundwater, from former training and testing areas.

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.

For more information, contact:
Christine Dolen, Groundwater Study Program, (508) 968-5629
Todd Borci, EPA New England Region 1, (617) 918-1358 or (888) 372-7341 ext. 81358
Ellie Grillo, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, (508) 946-2866

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