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Public Comments Accepted on Proposed Cleanup Plan for J-3 Range on Joint Base Cape Cod

Release Date: 10/09/2014
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

BOSTON – EPA is seeking public input on a proposed cleanup decision for the J-3 range located on the Joint Base Cape Cod (formerly the Massachusetts Military Reservation). The J-3 Range is a former military training and defense contractor test range that operated from the 1930s until the 1990s.

A 30-day public comment period will begin on Oct. 13 and end on Nov. 13, for the “Remedy Selection Plan” which outlines the proposed cleanup plans for addressing remaining contamination at the J-3 Range.

Ongoing investigations have identified continued elevated levels of Royal Demolition Explosive (RDX) and perchlorate in the groundwater, which is consistent with the use history of the area. EPA has evaluated and is recommending an “Enhanced Alternative 4a” as the proposed remedy for cleanup at this site, which would provide for extraction and treatment of groundwater, by optimizing the existing groundwater extraction system to contain contaminated groundwater at the base boundary, and adding an additional extraction well. Based on Alternative 4a, contamination within the plume at the J-3 range is predicted to drop below the unacceptable risk level by 2022. A long-term groundwater monitoring plan would be implemented and reviewed as required. This alternative is being proposed because it achieves permanent cleanup of RDX and perchlorate in groundwater.

The Army National Guard’s Impact Area Groundwater Study Program investigation at J-3 Range has been conducted with EPA’s oversight under the authority of EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act Administrative Orders, and in consideration of the substantive cleanup standards of the Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and the Massachusetts Contingency Plan.

Information on the Proposed Remedy Selection Plan will be presented at the JBCC/MMR Cleanup Team public meeting on Oct. 15 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting location is at the Welcome Center - Building 1805. EPA, MassDEP and Army representatives will attend this meeting and respond to questions raised. After the comment period ends Nov. 13, EPA will consider public comments received, consult with MassDEP, and issue a Decision Document that contains response actions required for the J-3 range. With the issuance of the Decision Document, EPA will include a Responsiveness Summary to provide responses to comments received during the public comment period. MassDEP will issue its official position in a comment letter after consideration of the public comments received.

More information:
A Remedy Selection Plan Fact Sheet has been developed and the details of the investigations and findings at the J-3 range are presented in an Investigation Report. Both documents can be found on EPA’s Joint Base Cape Cod Website ( along with instructions for providing public comment on the Remedy Selection Plan.

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