2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: rhugus@cape.com
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 11:29:07 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] MMR
>From January 23, 2000 Cape Cod Times


Explosive issue

EPA's order forcing cleanup of unexploded ordnance at Cape base will have
national impact

                                    By JEFFREY BURT
                                    STAFF WRITER

  Since before World War II, the military has fired guns at Camp
Edwards,sending shell after shell into the target range "impact area" in
the middle of the Massachusetts Military Reservation. Mortar shells,
anti-tank missiles and bazooka rounds plowed into the pine woods and scrub
brush. Most blew up. Some didn't and have lain untouched for years.

 That's about to change, and the implications are being weighed all the
way to the Pentagon.The federal Environmental Protection Agency in Boston
is telling the Massachusetts National Guard and the Pentagon that the time
has come to remove explosives from the Upper Cape base.

  In their administrative order issued Jan. 7, the regulators say they
believe the unexploded shells - and munitions intentionally buried as a way
of disposing of them - are contributing tothe contamination of the ground
water beneath Camp Edwards.

 The water source under the base is expected to become more important as
population grows in nearby Upper Cape towns.

 The unprecedented order upset military officials. They called the order
to clean up all contamination at Camp Edwards premature, saying more
research is needed before it could be said that unexploded shells cause

  But the order - the first in the nation to require the military to clean
up unexploded ordnance from a firing range - is also sending ripples across
the country, because the Pentagon is faced with the possibility of having to
spend billions of dollars to clear thousands of firing ranges.

The die is cast

  "Nationally, (the order) will have an enormous positive effect because
what's happening at MMR (Massachusetts Military Reservation) has gotten the
military to take seriously how they control their ranges," said Leonard
Siegel, executive director of the Center for Public Environmental Oversight
in San Francisco.  "But no matter what happens at MMR ... within the next
five years, this order will have an immense impact," he said. "The Pentagon
will no longer take a 'fire-and-forget' attitude."

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