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News Release
October 28, 2003

Open Detonation of Military Munitions Scheduled for Thursday

Camp Edwards, Mass. — Two military munitions will be destroyed in open detonations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Thursday, at Camp Edwards on the Massachusetts Military Reservation.

The items being detonated include a three-inch mortar round and a 66-millimeter mortar round. Both of these items will be destroyed in locations on former training and defense contractor testing sites known as the Southeast Ranges. Although the ranges are near the base boundary with Sandwich, the detonations will not affect the 500-foot neighborhood buffer zone. They are at least one-half mile from any residential areas and will not represent a risk to nearby residents.

The three-inch mortar round will be destroyed in the area known as the J-3 range. This munitions item was discovered during clearance for a new road being built to access a target area used for training during World War II. This area is the site of a current Groundwater Study Program investigation.

Detonation of the 66-milimeter mortar round will be on the J-1 range, where the Groundwater Study Program is conducting an investigation into soil and groundwater contamination. The mortar round was found during clearance for the installation of a groundwater monitoring well.

The mortar rounds 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:
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, MADEP Community Involvement Coordinator, (508) 946-2866

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