2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 1 Dec 2003 18:38:47 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Experts to Sweep O.C. Park for Old Bombs
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Experts to Sweep O.C. Park for Old Bombs
Hunt is prompted by explosives found in O'Neill Regional Park, once a
military range.
By Dave McKibben, Times Staff Writer
November 29, 2003

The Army Corps of Engineers said it will begin its search in March for
old military explosives along a proposed bike path in Rancho Santa
Margarita's O'Neill Regional Park.

The sweep for unexploded ordnance at the former bombing range had been
scheduled for 2023 but was quickly advanced with the discovery two
months ago of 11 small bombs under about a foot of soil by workers
preparing to lay asphalt for a bike path in the park.

Clearing the 3,200-foot, 20-foot-wide path is expected to take about two
weeks, said Corps spokesman Greg Fuderer. It is unclear when the
remainder of the 1,800-acre wilderness park will be cleared of
explosives, he said.

The park is within the Plano Trabuco bombing range, used by Navy pilots
from the former El Toro base from 1944 to 1956. Officials don't know how
many unexploded practice bombs may be scattered across the site.

"The immediate concern was the bike path area, a heavily traveled trail,
and that's being taken care of," said Rancho Santa Margarita Mayor Gary
Thompson. "The rest of park does represent a continuing danger to the
public because it's not fenced and it is accessible. Still, it's much
less of a danger than the trail."

Signs along the path warn hikers and bikers of the bomb danger, and a
buffer zone will be created once the sweeping begins, Fuderer said.

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