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EPA Completes Cleanup Decisions for Three Camp Edwards Areas

Release Date: 10/17/2012
Contact Information: Jeanethe Falvey, (617) 918-1020

(Boston, Mass. – Oct. 17, 2012) – EPA, in consultation with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has completed its assessment and final cleanup decisions for the Former A Range, Former K Range and Gun and Mortar Positions located on the northern portion of the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR) on Cape Cod.  The results of the site investigations concluded that limited actions are necessary at Former A Range including land use controls and site monitoring. EPA determined that no further actions were necessary at the Former K and Gun and Mortar Positions.

The Army National Guard’s Impact Area Groundwater Study Program, under the oversight of EPA and MassDEP, investigated potential contamination related to former military training activities. These investigations included geophysical work to assess the presence of munitions, and sampling and analysis of soil and groundwater. Site work was conducted under the authority of EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act Administrative Orders, as well as in consideration of the cleanup standards of the Massachusetts Contingency Plan.

Following the public comment period, EPA is issuing this Decision Document detailing the actions selected for the sites.

The Former A Range (also known as the Former Gravity Anti-Tank Range) is an inactive anti-tank artillery and rocket practice range that was constructed in 1941. It is located on the west side of Camp Edwards and originally functioned as an anti-tank artillery and rocket practice site until the 1960s. The range was later converted to a machine gun practice area. As a result of the environmental investigations at this site, EPA has decided that limited action is necessary which will include environmental monitoring and land use controls to protect monitoring wells.

The Former K Range is located on the eastern side of Camp Edwards, adjacent to Greenway Road and south of Wood Road. It was constructed in 1960 and was used as a 3.5-inch rocket range until 1967. In 1968, it was converted to an M79 grenade launcher range. After the mid-1960s, the northern portion of the range was extended to 2,000 meters. There are no known records of the types of munitions used on the extension. After the 1970s, the eastern end of the Former K Range was converted to a pistol range and renamed P Range, as it is currently known today. The investigations at the site helped to determine that no further actions were necessary for the Former K Range.

Additionally, included in this latest decision are 24 gun positions and 13 mortar positions located south, west, and northwest of the impact area. The earliest known usage of any of the Gun and Mortar positions began around 1940. Several different types of artillery were used, but the most common were howitzers firing 105 and 155 mm artillery shells. The most common mortar rounds fired at MMR were the 60 and 81 mm. The firing of HE artillery rounds was discontinued in 1989. Practice rounds were fired until the EPA moratorium on live artillery and mortar firing at Camp Edwards was established in 1997. As with Former K Range, EPA determined that there were no long term environmental threats at the site and no further action is necessary.

Information about these proposed decisions was presented during the MMR Cleanup Team Meeting in June, 2012. No comments were received during the public comment period on Decision Document Fact Sheet.  Public participation is welcome at any of the future MMRCT meetings, which are typically held on or near the MMR with representatives from the EPA, Massachusetts DEP, and the Army and Air Force cleanup programs.

Meeting schedule: (http://states.ng.mil/sites/ma/resources/erc/calendar.htm)

Sites Fact Sheet: http://www.epa.gov/region1/mmr/pdfs/505881.pdf 

EPA cleanup work at MMR (http://www.epa.gov/region1/mmr/ )

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