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News Release
November 18, 2003

Military Munitions Scheduled for Open Detonation on Thursday

Camp Edwards, Mass. — Nine military munitions will be destroyed in open detonations at Camp Edwards between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Thursday. The detonations will take place at least one-half mile from any residential areas and do not represent a risk to nearby residents.

The items being detonated include a 3-inch and a 5-inch projectile, a 40-millimeter practice grenade, a 4.2-inch mortar round, an 81-millimeter mortar round and four 4.5-inch barrage rockets.

The projectiles and grenade will be destroyed at the site known as Demolition Area 1, which formerly was used for munitions burning and detonation. These munitions were found during the first phase of an interim soil cleanup action being conducted by the Impact Area Groundwater Study Program. The Groundwater Study Program is removing all unexploded munitions and related items from the Demolition Area 1 site in preparation for excavation and treatment of 25,000 tons of contaminated or potentially contaminated soil. Excavation of the soil, which is believed to be a source of continuing groundwater contamination, starts this week.

The mortar rounds and rockets will be detonated in the area known as the J-3 range, which is located on the southeastern side of the base, more than a half mile from the base boundary with Sandwich. These munitions were found during investigation of a target area used for training during World War II.

The munitions items are being destroyed by open detonation because explosive experts have determined they may contain explosives and are unsafe to move. Safe-to-move items that potentially contain explosives are taken to a safe storage facility for destruction in a contained detonation chamber. Munitions items that do not contain explosives are recycled as scrap.

After an open detonation, the soil is tested for explosives compounds and if necessary, covered, and scheduled for removal and disposal in accordance with applicable regulations.

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

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For more information, contact:
Pam Richardson, Groundwater Study Program, (508) 968-5630
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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