BOURNE, Mass. (AP) — The federal Environmental Protection Agency plans to review a proposed machine gun training range at a National Guard base in Massachusetts and the potential risks to a public drinking water source.
The agency wrote in its notice to the Army National Guard that it will review whether the project “has a potential to contaminate the aquifer creating a significant hazard to public health and to provide recommendations to protect the aquifer,” the Cape Cod Times reported Tuesday.
The Massachusetts Army National Guard says the $11.5 million range at Camp Edwards on Joint Base Cape Cod is needed for training and is environmentally safe.
The EPA review was welcomed by Cape Cod environmental activists and state and federal lawmakers who have raised concerns about the range's impacts not just on the aquifer, but on wildlife habitat.
“We must fully understand the impacts this gun range poses to public health, public safety, and our public lands," U.S. Sens. Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Rep. William Keating said in a statement. “We are hopeful that this review will identify the potential environmental impact this project could have and provide much needed answers to the residents of Cape Cod who remain concerned about the construction of this gun range.”
Andrew Gottlieb, of the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, said the project needed an independent environmental review.