2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 20 May 2003 15:36:56 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Deadline set on new Cape pollution
Deadline set on new Cape pollution
State threatens to sue military
By Donovan Slack, Globe Correspondent, 5/19/2003

Traces of a chemical used in explosives have been found in a residential
well in Bourne, and the state has given the US military until May 27 to
take responsibility for the contamination and agree to remedy it or risk
legal action.

The order was triggered by a test of a private well on Foretop Road,
which showed levels of perchlorate nearly twice the state's safety
standard. Long-term exposure to perchlorate has been shown to interfere
with thyroid function and cause birth defects.

The discovery prompted the Massachusetts Department of Environmental
Protection to take a closer look at private wells in the region
bordering the northwest corner of the Massachusetts Military
Reservation. DEP officials said they planned to send letters today to
hundreds of nearby residents, informing them of the problem and asking
for permission to test all private wells.

''From our point of view, there is contamination out there,'' said John
Fitzgerald, director of the DEP's Division of Response and Remediation.
''But we don't believe that there is an immediate need for concern.''

Fitzgerald said the department was most concerned about the well-being
of children and pregnant women, who can be most susceptible to
perchlorate exposure at lower levels.

In a May 13 ''notice of responsibility'' obtained by the Globe, the DEP
directed the Army to provide bottled water to the affected residents on
Foretop Road, who did not wish to be identified, and either hook their
homes up to public water suppies or install a water treatment system at
their houses.

Army officials say they are considering their reponse. ''We do not know
whether the well contamination is connected with the impact area,'' said
Ben Gregson, the Army's technical program manager for the area. ''It's a
difficult situation.''

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