2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 26 Sep 2003 15:10:58 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Munitions found, removed at Quonset
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Rhode Island
Munitions found, removed at Quonset
By Adam C. Holland
Friday, September 26, 2003

NORTH KINGSTOWN -- Environmental workers performing a water and soil
cleanup at Quonset Point unearthed at least 20 inert shells and other
munitions last week including a 1-ton Navy sea mine, according to the
Army Corps of Engineers.

The munitions were discovered at the Blue Beach property by workers from
Conti Environmental Inc. It is not known whether any of the pieces had
ever contained explosives or a fuse device.

The 3-acre excavation area is adjacent to a site formerly known as the
Navy/General Dynamics Salvage Yard.

The state fire marshal closed the cleanup site and two adjacent
construction sites Sept. 16 and called in a team from the Navy Explosive
Ordinance Disposal unit, in Newport, to investigate.

On Monday and Tuesday the Navy unit determined that all but one of the
pieces were inert -- either empty or filled with concrete -- and had
most likely been used for training such as target practice. The pieces
ranged from rocket warheads and depth charges to larger items such as
sea mines.

"The [mine] they weren't sure about, it could still be filled with
concrete," said Tim Dugan of the Corps. "But they're just not taking any
chances. They couldn't conclusively say cement. And so rather than
messing with it on the site, they just said we need to treat this as
hazardous waste and remove it.'

The mine was removed from the site Sept. 17 and taken out of state to an
undisclosed location to be destroyed.

"It's pretty routine for defense sites," Dugan said of the recent
discovery. "In a lot of cases, these are just practice ordnance."

The site had been used as a disposal area for two nearby military
facilities: Quonset Point Naval Air Station and the Naval Advanced Base

Built in the 1940s the air station and naval depot were used for
training and support during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam
War. The air station was closed in 1974.

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