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News Releases from Region 01

EPA Seeks Public Input on Modified Training at Camp Edwards

Contact Information: 
Kate Melanson (melanson.kate@epa.gov)

BOSTON - EPA is seeking public comment on a proposed agreement to allow the Massachusetts Army National Guard to train with a "Percussion Activated Neutralizer" at the Camp Edwards portion of Joint Base Cape Cod (JBCC).

The comment period, which runs through May 6, 2016, provides an opportunity for public input on this modification to EPA's 1997 Safe Drinking Water Act Administrative Order. This authorization process is part of EPA's regulatory role at the Massachusetts Military Reservation to protect the sole source Cape Cod Aquifer.

In a letter dated August 18, 2015, the Massachusetts Army National Guard requested EPA approval to use Percussion Activated Neutralizers (PAN) for training purposes at Camp Edwards. The letter, which included information on the chemical makeup of the device and a description of its intended use, is available on EPA's website. EPA does not expect that the chemical makeup and use of the items, in the manner proposed, will present a threat to the aquifer, and is now seeking public input on this proposal.

Since 1997, EPA has issued administrative orders at the base, three which fall under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Among other provisions, one of the administrative orders includes the suspension of particular military training activities at the Training Range and Impact area of Join Base Cape Cod, due to the nature of the potential contaminants within some of the training devices. However, included was a provision for modification if among other requirements there was, "documentation demonstrating that the use of a pyrotechnic suspended pursuant to this Order does not present a threat of harm to the public or the environment that would warrant its continued suspension under this Order."

The authorization to use this device is also conditional upon the Massachusetts Army National Guard's compliance with all conditions established by the Environmental Management Commission.

EPA submitted on Dec. 22, 2015 a separate proposed agreement and request for public comment to modify AO2, Scope of Work regarding the PAN training. However, due to inaccuracies in that public notice, EPA is holding this current public participation period to ensure that all the public have sufficient information on which to comment. EPA is not moving forward based on that Dec. 22 2015 notice, but encourages public comment regarding the proposed agreement listed above in this notice.

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