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Portions of the Massachusetts Military Reservation May be Removed from EPA’s Superfund List


EPA is proposing to delete 61 individual sites from the overall Otis Air National Guard Base/Camp Edwards Superfund Site on Cape Cod, Mass., also known as the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR).

EPA is proposing to remove the sites from the Superfund list under the “Partial Deletion Rule” because all appropriate investigations and, where necessary, cleanup actions have been completed, and the sites are no longer a threat to human health and the environment. The decision to de-list these selected sites is subject to a 30-day public comment period before becoming final.

This partial deletion affects only the surface area of these 61 sites, which were investigated and cleaned for soil contamination. The partial deletion does not affect any of the groundwater plumes associated with Otis Air National Guard Base/Camp Edwards Superfund Site, nor does it include any areas on the site that are currently being investigated and cleaned by the Department of the Army in response to EPA’s Administrative Orders to address contamination related to military training in the Impact Area and Training Ranges.

“The Air Force, EPA, and the Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection have worked closely with the very active MMR citizen advisory teams to reach this milestone,” said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “This proposal represents years of dedicated work since the site was listed in 1989. However, the work continues with cleanup of 11 groundwater plumes and 19 source area sites.”

The Otis Air National Guard Base/Camp Edwards Superfund Site consists of over four square miles in portions of the towns of Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee and Sandwich on Cape Cod. EPA placed the Site on the National Priorities List in November 1989.

The 61 surface sites proposed for deletion range in size from half an acre to 80 acres and total 482.1 acres of the installation. Sites deleted from the National Priorities List remain eligible for remedial actions in the unlikely event that conditions at the site change and warrant such action in the future.

There are 11 groundwater plumes and 19 source area sites still being addressed under the Superfund program. The Air Force currently operates groundwater cleanup systems for 11 groundwater plumes and treats over 18 million gallons per day. From 1997 to March 2007, over 32 billion gallons of contaminated groundwater have been extracted and treated. Cleanup on some of the plumes is expected to continue for over 25 years.

EPA is publishing the Notice of Intent for Partial Deletion of Sites from the Otis Air National Guard Base/Camp Edwards in the Federal Register on Aug. 1, 2007 and will seek public comment for 30 days (until Aug. 30, 2007).


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