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EPA Seeking Public Input on Significant Remaining Cleanup Area on Camp Edwards

Release Date: 07/20/2011
Contact Information: Jeanethe Falvey, (617) 918-1020; (857) 366-0627

(Boston, Mass. – July 20, 2011) – The EPA and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are approaching a final cleanup decision regarding the largest single remaining area of contamination from former military training on the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR). A public comment period begins Wed. July 25, 2011 for a Remedy Selection Plan outlining the proposed cleanup alternatives for groundwater contamination and its related sources at the Central Impact Area on Camp Edwards in the northern central portion of the MMR. The public comment period runs through August 25.

The 330 acre Central Impact Area (CIA) contained the majority of the targets used for munitions training within the 2200 acre Impact Area. The CIA is believed to be the primary source area for the RDX and perchlorate groundwater contamination in this portion of MMR. Both chemicals are associated with the use and disposal of military munitions.

This comment period is an opportunity for the regulatory agencies to gather public feedback on the alternatives considered to address the contamination in this portion of Camp Edwards. This remedy selection plan explains the potential cleanup alternatives that were considered for the CIA, the recommended strategy, and the reasons for that recommendation.  The plan proposes actions for both the groundwater contamination and the affiliated source areas in the soil.

Monitoring and investigations have shown that currently, groundwater contamination from the site is not threatening public or private drinking water supplies. Plume modeling without cleanup, projected future potential threats to residents between the northwest side of MMR and the Cape Cod Canal. Cleanup alternatives considered in the Feasibility Study included No Further Action, Monitored Natural Attenuation and Land-use Controls, and several alternatives with Focused-Extraction and Treatment.

The goals of the cleanup are to restore the useable groundwater to its beneficial use wherever practicable, within a timeframe that is reasonable given the circumstances at the site.  The recommended cleanup would reduce site contaminants through both treatment and natural processes, reduce contaminant sources through the removal of unexploded ordnance, as well as eliminate exposure through land-use controls.
Information about this Remedy Selection Plan will be presented and a public hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m., Wed. July 27 at Building 1805, West Outer Road on Camp Edwards. Representatives from the Army’s Impact Area Groundwater Study Program (IAGWSP), the US EPA, and the MassDEP will be available at this meeting to answer questions on the proposed alternatives.

The Remedy Selection Plan as well as further information on how to comment are available on both the EPA and IAGWSP websites included below. The document is also available at the libraries in Bourne, Falmouth, and Sandwich.

Comments are to be submitted by mail to Jeanethe Falvey, US EPA, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 Mail Code ORA 20-1, Boston, MA 02109-3912, by fax to 617-918-0020 or by email to

Public comments on the proposed cleanup alternative will be considered by EPA and responded to for its final CIA Decision Document, which will be finalized later this summer. Selection of the final cleanup alternative will be made in consultation with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). The MADEP will issue its official comment after the public comment period has ended and comments are reviewed.

MMR is a 22,000-acre property that has been used for military training activities since 1911. The base is also located over a sole source aquifer that provides drinking water for residents of Cape Cod. Two environmental cleanup programs (one implemented by the Army, the other by the Air Force) are addressing the areas of soil and groundwater contamination that have resulted from activities on site. The U.S. Air Force is addressing contamination from the Otis Air Force Base primarily in the southern portion of MMR under the Federal Superfund Program. The U.S. Army is addressing contamination at Camp Edwards in the northern portion of MMR as required by EPA under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Both cleanup programs are progressing with oversight from the EPA and the MassDEP.

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Regular public meetings ( are held on or near the MMR with representatives from the EPA, Massachusetts DEP, and the Army and Air Force cleanup programs.

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