Comment Period on EPA’s Joint Base Gun Range Draft Expires June 26

BOURNE – The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) window to accept public comments on its draft determination regarding the proposed machine gun range at Joint Base Cape Cod expires Monday, June 26.

Back in April, the EPA released their draft review of the project, stating that it could jeopardize public health. The federal agency cited the Safe Drinking Water Act in their findings, adding that the range could be detrimental to Cape Cod’s sole aquifer.

Without approval from the EPA, the gun range would not be eligible for financial assistance from the federal government.

The gun range proposal has been a contentious topic across the region for multiple years. Local and county government officials, as well as conservation groups, have expressed concerns about the potential damage to the local ecosystem that the current plan could present if approved. Joint Base representatives have not wavered on the plan, contending that it would cut back on training costs and time while not presenting major environmental impacts.

The following excerpt of a previous EPA statement outlines how stakeholders can have their voices heard on the matter through the June 26 deadline:

Public Engagement Process

During the remainder of the 60-day public comment period, the public and interested stakeholders may submit written comments for EPA’s consideration.

  • Written comments may be submitted to: [email protected]
  • Verbal comments may be submitted on a voicemail box at (617) 918-1800

All comments timely received will be reviewed and considered by the Region, along with other available information. If, after evaluating this material, EPA’s Regional Administrator continues to believe that the proposed project may create a significant public health hazard, he will then forward the information to the EPA Administrator with a recommended conclusion that the project may contaminate the aquifer through the recharge zone so as to create a significant hazard to public health. The EPA Administrator will then make a final determination. Should this determination become final, no commitment of federal financial assistance (through a grant, contract, loan guarantee, or otherwise) may be allowed.

More Information:

EPA information on Cape Cod Sole Source Aquifer and EPA documents about the draft determination:

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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