Engineers Continue Clean-up at the Former Military Site

January 15th, 2004 - by admin

by PRNewswire –

CONCORD, Mass. — The National Park Service (NPS), the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) are continuing efforts to determine the presence and extent of military ordnance identified in the past at the Former Camp Wellfleet military site located at the Cape Cod National Seashore in Wellfleet, Mass.

Zapata Engineering, under the direction of the US Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Alabama, will perform an Ordnance and Explosive (OE) investigation and removal action starting January 19 through March 31 in portions of the Former Camp Wellfleet.

The objective is to investigate approximately 180 anomalies discovered from an aerial magnetometer survey conducted in March 2002 and located within the boundaries of the Cape Cod National Seashore, along the beach and dune areas from LeCount Hollow Beach to Marconi Beach in Wellfleet. A geophysical ground survey and digital mapping of three acres of land will also be conducted for quality assurance.

Additional further investigation of two anomalies from previous work will be completed. Based on the analysis, all of the anomalies are expected to be non-OE related scrap metal items. In the unlikely event that unexploded ordnance (UXO) is discovered it will be blown in place.

Public Beach To Close during Search for Bombs
During the removal actions portions of the Marconi Area (Marconi Site, Marconi Beach, White Cedar Swamp and White Cedar Swamp trails, and the beach from LeCount Hollow to Marconi Beach) will be closed to public access on a day-by-day basis. Zapata Engineering, the contractor performing the investigation and UXO removal (if any) will meet daily with the National Park Service to coordinate safety measures and any necessary area closures.

All reasonable efforts will be made to minimize inconvenience to the public and to allow access to primary visitor sites.

The site consists of developed and undeveloped land, the majority of which is owned and maintained by the National Parks Service. The investigation for the Wellfleet site is being conducted during the winter to minimize impacts to natural resources such as the piping plover and to minimize the impact of closures to area residents and visitors.

The recommended removal actions for the various areas inside the Former Camp Wellfleet are derived from the Final Former Camp Wellfleet Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) completed in May 2000 and the subsequent Action Memorandum, which was signed in April 2001.

Background Project Information
The US Army Corps of Engineers (the New England District and the Corps’ Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Alabama), the National Park Service, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection are continuing a residual ordnance and explosives investigation on land that comprised the Formerly Used Defense Site known as the Former Camp Wellfleet, situated on the outer Cape Cod peninsula.

The site occupies about 1,738 acres of land located along the Atlantic Ocean in the Town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts. The majority of the site (1,688.8 acres) is owned and maintained by the NPS, as the administrator of the Cape Cod National Seashore. The Town of Wellfleet owns a portion (49.2 acres) of the site. For almost 19 years, the Former Camp Wellfleet property was used by the US Government for military training purposes. The Army also conducted several surface removal clearances prior to property transfer.

Bullets, Bazookas and Grenades
In the 40 years since the military used the property, various ordnance items, including anti- aircraft projectiles, bazooka rounds, smoke grenades, and small arms ammunition have been recovered. The majority of this was found along the beach and dune areas due to wave action and erosion.

The property was used by the Army as an anti-aircraft training center from 1942 to 1944. In 1944, the Navy obtained a permit to use a portion of the property as a temporary bomb target.

The Navy returned the site to the Army in 1947, and after World War II it was used as a training center for guardsmen and reservists. In 1961, the site was declared excess and conveyed to the Department of the Interior by President Kennedy to establish the Cape Cod National Seashore. The periodic discovery of ordnance in beach areas heavily used by the general public, coupled with the potentially large volume of ordnance suspected to be at the site, resulted in the Corps’ initiation of an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) at the site.

The US Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Ala., completed the fieldwork portion of the EE/CA of the Former Camp Wellfleet in 1998. The Corps’ Huntsville Center is the Corps’ Center of Expertise for Ordnance and Explosives projects. The Corps’ New England District provides direction, funding, oversight and coordination.

The EE/CA was conducted to determine the presence and extent of ordnance throughout the site, and make recommendations for future cleanup actions as needed. The study and all associated ordnance work performed by the Corps have been conducted to date under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (known as Superfund), and the Defense Environmental Restoration Program of 1986. Activities at the site also satisfy requirements under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, the state’s hazardous waste site cleanup regulations.

In September 1999, Foster Wheeler Environmental, a contractor for the Corps of Engineers, completed an EE/CA regarding ordnance and explosives investigations at the Former Camp Wellfleet. The EE/CA Action Memorandum was signed in April 2001. Based on the small isolated areas of ordnance related debris found during the investigation and the current and anticipated use of the site, the EE/CA report recommended land use controls be used to protect the public and the environment in all areas except the beach and dune areas.

In the beach areas, the report recommended clearance of ordnance and explosives to a depth of four feet, combined with the use of land use controls.

The Corps completed a groundwater sampling investigation of chemicals and explosives in April-May 2000. This investigation did not identify any contaminants above action levels in any of seven monitoring wells or in the Camp Wellfleet public water supply well. Another round of groundwater sampling was completed in May 2002. Results are similar to the earlier findings.

An aerial geophysical survey of the entire site was conducted in March 2002 by Oak Ridge National Laboratory to confirm findings of the EE/CA, assist with any required debris/ordnance clearance, and assist in siting of additional monitoring wells (if necessary).

The results of the aerial geophysical survey showed several anomalies. It was determined that it was necessary to perform additional work to determine if any of the anomalies found are OE related or are other metal items. Approximately 98 anomalies were investigated in May 2003. Two of those areas will be investigated further during the work to be done in January 2004.

An information repository is located at the Wellfleet Public Library that contains all information gathered so far, including the final EE/CA. The information repository is part of the Army’s commitment to maintain publicly accessible site information in the local community.

SOURCE US Army Corps of Engineers -0- 01/15/2004
CONTACT: David W. Crary, Jr. of Cape Cod National Seashore (National Park Service), +1-508-349-3785 ext. 247; or Theresa Barao of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, +1-508-946-2724; or Tim Dugan of US Army Corps of Engineers, +1-978-318-8264/

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