Public Affairs Menu


Field work to start week of March 5th: New England District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study on Nantucket

Published Feb. 17, 2012

CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), will begin Remedial Investigation (RI) field work in March 2012 at the area known as the Nantucket Beach Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS). 


The FUDS project area, known as “Nantucket Beach,” covers approximately 2.2 miles of beach, between the Former Tom Nevers Naval Facility and the Nantucket Airport. During WWII, the U.S. Navy conducted air-to-ground military training exercises at the former “Nantucket Beach” range.  


The RI field work will be conducted from approximately March to June 2012. The objective of the RI is to search for and locate military munitions that may be present as a result of Navy training conducted during WWII.  After the RI is completed, various remedial alternatives will be evaluated in the Feasibility Study (FS) to address the munitions.


The field work will begin with an aerial geophysical survey, utilizing a specially outfitted helicopter. The helicopter flyover will result in intermittent, temporary road detours/closures in the area (Milestone Rd., Bunker Rd., Russell Way, New South Rd., Waquoit Rd., and Bartlett Rd.) that may result in traffic delays of approximately 10 minutes. Traffic road signs, police details and other personnel will be used to help control the traffic detours/closures.  Every effort will be made to minimize impacts to traffic.


Following the Aerial geophysical survey, ground based geophysical surveys will be conducted of the beaches, dunes, upland land areas as well as in the shallow waters near the shoreline and deep waters offshore.  Geophysical surveys will help define the horizontal and vertical boundary where munitions may be buried.  Geophysical surveys use sophisticated metal detectors to find buried metallic objects that could potentially be military munitions.  After the surveys, teams of trained experts in military munitions will manually dig selected locations to determine the type of munitions present.


As the work progresses, the Corps contractor, Weston Solutions, Inc., will be contacting property owners via phone, and/or posting door hangars on each residents’/agencies’ doors notifying each land owner when the contractor will be performing work on their specific property. 


As part of this effort, the Corps requires access to private property and is in the process of obtaining rights of entry from affected land owners. The Corps will only enter onto and perform work on properties where the owner has signed a right of entry giving their permission for the Corps to proceed with work on their property.

Residents who have been contacted by the Corps and have not returned rights of entry can contact Ms. Charette at 978-318-8605 (office) or 978-505-2918 (cell) or by email Any parcel of land within the FUDS project boundary for which a right of entry has not been received may not be included in this project. The cost of the RI/FS is approximately $2.4 million and is funded by the Defense Environmental Restoration Program to clean up Formerly Used Defense Sites.          


The Corps of Engineers, New England District conducted a Site Investigation of the Nantucket Beach FUDS in 2010.  Thirty one subsurface anomalies were recorded within MRS1, a burial pit, located in the study area.  Four hundred ninety three subsurface anomalies were recorded on land within MRS2, the former aerial rocket range, and eight anomalies were recorded underwater within 100 yards of the shore. While ferrous rocks could account for some of the anomalies, due to the potential for buried munitions, further investigation under a Remedial Investigation was recommended.


The RI/FS will help determine if any future actions are required to protect human health, safety and the environment. The Corps’ contractor, Weston Solutions, Inc., and subcontractors Battelle and VRHabilis, under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will perform the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study. Signs notifying the public of what actions to take should they find any object that looks like, or they believe to be, a munitions item, will be posted at various locations accessing the beach.  If encountering a munitions item, the public should immediately follow the three R’s; Recognize the item as potentially hazardous, Retreat from the area without touching or moving the item, and immediately Report the item to the local police by calling 911.


The Corps will implement a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study followed by a Proposed Plan, Decision Document, Remedial Action, and a Long Term Monitoring Program, if warranted. Remedial Investigation activities include geophysical work, intrusive investigation, sampling, etc. to determine the nature and extent (type, quantity, and location) of munitions. Long Term Monitoring activities include annual awareness training, posting signage, disseminating information pamphlets, implementing institutional controls, conducting 5-year reviews, etc. The Corps, working with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and its contractors have developed educational awareness training for the Nantucket Conservation Foundation (NCF), Town and other employees working in the FUDS project boundary.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 2012-009