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News Release
September 17, 2002

Two Open Detonations Scheduled Thursday at Camp Edwards

Camp Edwards, Mass. — Open detonations of unexploded military munitions will take place on two of Camp Edwards’ Southeast Ranges, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday. Neither of the detonations will affect the Sandwich Neighborhood Buffer Zone and there is no risk to residents of nearby areas.

The detonation of 59 practice rockets will be conducted on the N Range, a former defense contractor testing and training area. The rockets were found in a burial area on the western portion of the range. They are inert, but it is possible that the attached fuzes contain explosives. The burial was uncovered in an investigation of potential burial sites that began in August. Although several of the 13 sites investigated on the N Range contained empty military munitions casings, this is the first discovery of potential unexploded ordnance.

A second open detonation of five 57-millimeter projectiles will be conducted on the northern portion of the J-2 Range, another former defense contractor testing and training area. These munitions also were found in a burial area. An investigation of the J-2 Range for potential munitions burial and burn pits began in April. Several of the 18 sites investigated on this range have contained multiple munitions burials.

Explosive experts for the Groundwater Study Program have determined that the practice rockets and projectiles need to be destroyed in place as they pose a potential risk to workers investigating the areas and are unsafe to move.

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.

Soil at the site of every open detonation is tested for residual explosive compounds. If contamination is found, the soil is covered and scheduled for removal and disposal in accordance with applicable regulations.

The Groundwater Study Program, led by the National Guard Bureau, has been working on an investigation and cleanup of the northern 15,000 acres at Camp Edwards since 1997. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection oversee the program.

For further information on Groundwater Study Program activities, log on to

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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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