The EPA has issued administrative orders on operations at Joint Base Cape Cod since 1997, including the Camp Edwards portion where the Massachusetts National Guard would like to train on PAN. The EPA’s regulations around the area are designed, in part, to protect the Cape Cod Aquifer, which the EPA has done with a provision blocking training activities that might result in decreased water quality due to contaminants. The provision does allow for training devices to be removed from the suspension if the agency determines that they do not threaten public or environmental health.
The National Guard requested that the EPA approve the use of PAN in an Aug. 18 letter, and the agency does not expect that the items’ chemical makeup will harm the aquifer if used as proposed. The agency is accepting public comments on the proposed agreement until Jan. 21, and any authorization granted will be dependent on the device being used according to Environmental Management Commission imposed conditions.