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News Release
June 2, 2004

Open Detonations Affecting Neighborhood Buffer Zone

Camp Edwards, Mass. — Open detonations to destroy five military munitions items will be conducted on Thursday at Camp Edwards on the Massachusetts Military Reservation.

All of the munitions are at least 1,500 feet from any residential area and there is no risk to nearby residents. Two of the items are within the Forestdale area of Sandwich that triggers school and neighborhood notification. Notices regarding the detonations have been sent to parents of Forestdale School students and residents of the Forestdale neighborhood.

The notification is part of an agreement between the Impact Area Groundwater Study Program and Sandwich officials designed to keep parents and residents informed of any discovery of munitions or open detonations in the vicinity of a 500-foot school and neighborhood buffer zone within the base boundary.

The two munitions items affecting the buffer zone are all 81-millimeter mortar rounds. The other items are three M-9 rifle grenades; two on the J-3 Range and one on the J-2 Range. Appropriate safety controls, which include sandbags, and plywood and concrete barriers, will be used to contain the detonations near the school and neighborhood buffer zones.

The two munitions items in the school and neighborhood buffer zones were found during road repair activities in the former training and defense contractor testing area known as the J-1 Range. The other items were found on the J-3 Range and J-2 Ranges where clearance activities are underway for planned soil removal and treatment actions.

The mortar rounds and rifle grenades 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.

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, MADEP Community Involvement Coordinator, (508) 946-2866

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