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EPA Seeks Public Input on Modified Training at Camp Edwards

Release Date: 10/12/2012
Contact Information: Jeanethe Falvey, (617) 918-1020

(Boston, Mass. – Oct. 12, 2012) – EPA is seeking public comment on a proposed agreement to allow the Massachusetts Army National Guard to resume training with 40mm practice rounds on the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR).

The comment period, which runs through October 26, 2012, provides an opportunity for public input on this modification to EPA’s 1997 Safe Drinking Water Act Administrative Order. This authorization process is part of EPA’s regulatory role at the Massachusetts Military Reservation to protect the sole source Cape Cod Aquifer.

Since 1997, EPA has issued four administrative orders at the base, three under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Among other provisions the second administrative order includes the suspension of particular military training activities at the Training Range and Impact area of MMR; due to the nature of the potential contaminants within some of the training devices. However, included was a provision for modification if among other requirements there was, “documentation demonstrating that the use of a propellant… suspended pursuant to this Order does not present a threat of harm to the public or the environment that would warrant its continued suspension under this Order.”

In a letter dated September 7, 2012, the Massachusetts Army National Guard requested approval from the EPA to resume live fire training on Lima Range using the M781 40mm Training Round. The letter included information on the chemical makeup of the ammunition and a description of its intended use.

EPA does not expect that the chemical makeup and use of the items, in the manner proposed, will present a threat to the aquifer and now submits this proposal for public comment.

The authorization to use this device is also conditional upon the Massachusetts Army National Guard’s compliance with all conditions established by the Environmental Management Commission. The authorization does not extend to any other ammunition, and the proposed use of this ammunition does not interfere with the long term monitoring of groundwater at Lima Range.

More information:  Public Comment Period on the proposed modified training at Camp Edwards, as well as information on EPA past and ongoing cleanup work at MMR: http://www.epa.gov/region1/mmr/

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