Warren Pumps Brakes on Joint Base Gun Range Funding

Potential location for the Joint Base machine gun range showing initially proposed 1,500 firing lanes. Town of Barnstable

BOURNE –  Senator Elizabeth Warren said that she would halt a possible funding extension for a machine gun range on Joint Base Cape Cod until Environmental Protection officials finished their final report on the project.

A bill considering the extension went before the Senate Armed Forces Committee, of which Warren is a key member.

Local leaders including Barnstable County Commissioner Mark Forrest have urged Warren to take a strong stance against the project, saying it could pollute drinking water for the Cape. 

“She’s going to insist on a final set of recommendations and she’ll follow the science and that’s all we can ask. Already the science that’s been done on it has made it very clear that this project is an unacceptable risk. That’s the threshold; is it an acceptable risk or an unacceptable risk,” said Forest.

The EPA came out with a draft finding report indicating that the project could pose a potential risk to the Cape’s sole source aquifer, which would prevent funding from being expended.

Forest added that the project has taken away attention from other initiatives on the base that would benefit both the military and local community, including potential affordable housing on unused parts of the land.

Base officials said the range would cut down training costs, and that they’re most recent proposals call for increased environmental accountability—including more frequent bullet collections, shorter ranges, and larger berms. 

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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