Upper Cape Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee, Sandwich, MA


1852, 1990 and ongoing


2007 at $1,300,000




Textron Systems Corporation


MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),
US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
US Department of Defense (DoD)


Release of weapons propellant perchlorate





US EPA Sole Source Aquifer Cape Cod

Textron / Mass Military Reservation NRD Case Settlement

In October 2007, State and Federal Trustees entered into a $1.3 Million Natural Resource Damages (NRD) settlement with Textron Systems Corporation (TSC) , a defense contractor that conducted weapons testing in a section of the Massachusetts Military Reservation. The settlement resolves NRD claims against TSC only, with the state portion of the NRD settlement at $1 Million and the federal-only portion at $300,000. The Consent Decree settlement, which was subject to a 120-day public comment period and court approval, was entered by the US District Court in February 2008.

Natural Resource Trustees

State and federal natural resource Trustees for the TSC settlement at the Mass Military Reservation Site (MMR) include the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EEA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

Site History

The MMR site is a 21,000 acre facility at which Otis Air Force Base and Camp Edwards are located on Cape Cod, in the towns of Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee and Sandwich. The MMR site is located over a sole source aquifer (the Sagamore Lens) that provides drinking water for 200,000 year-round and 500,000 seasonal residents of Cape Cod. MMR was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites in November 1989. In October 1999, Executive Order No. 414, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts established the Upper Cape Water Supply Reserve within the northern 15,000 acres of the MMR.

The southern industrial or "cantonment" 5,500-acre area of the Site is where the US Coast Guard, Army National Guard, and Otis Air National Guard Base facilities are located. The northern 15,000-acre area, also known as Camp Edwards, is used primarily by the Army National Guard. This area contains the 2,200-acre Impact Area, associated military training ranges, and the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod.

With regard to this NRD settlement, TSC operations were executed within experimental contractor ranges (mainly the J ranges) located within the upper 15,000 acres of Camp Edwards. From 1968 to 1999, Textron Systems Corporation (TSC) or its predecessors, under contracts with the DoD , conducted munitions testing in the area of the J-Ranges at MMR. As a contractor of the DoD including the Department of Army and USAF , TSC or its predecessors engaged in packing and testing of munitions at ranges under lease from the Department of Army. Excess explosives, off specification propellants, unexploded ordinance, excess munitions and scrap metal were open detonated or burned in an unlined detonation pit and burn box in the J-1 and J-3Range area.

Injured Natural Resources

On July 13, 1982, EPA determined that the Cape Cod aquifer is the sole or principal source of drinking water for Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and that this sole source aquifer, if contaminated, would create a significant hazard to public health.

The Training Ranges and Impact Area lie directly over the Sagamore Lens, the most productive part of the Cape Cod Aquifer. Groundwater flows radially in all directions from the Training Ranges and Impact Area. The J-1 and 3 Ranges lie above several wellhead protection areas that supply drinking water for residents of Cape Cod.

Of primary concern to EEA is TSC's development and explosive testing of tactical weapons systems for the US Army and Air Force and contamination of groundwater with the hazardous material and weapons propellant perchlorate - an inorganic chemical that is highly mobile in water and can persist for years under typical conditions.

Restoration Planning and Implementation

Of the $1 Million NRD settlement by EEA:

$460,000.00 to be used by the Commonwealth Trustee for "restoration, replacement, or acquisition of equivalent of injured natural resources in connection with the Site" in accordance with State law, and

$500,000.00 to be used by the Commonwealth Trustee for "restoration, replacement, or acquisition of equivalent of injured natural resources in connection with the Site" in accordance with Federal Law.

Of the $300,000 NRD settlement by the federal Trustees:

$175,000 to be managed by DOI for "restoration, replacement, or acquisition of equivalent of injured natural resources in connection w/the Site" in accordance with Federal law.

Restoration planning is ongoing. On September 15, 2009, EEA announced the selection of two proposals, $259,200 proposal to purchase 13.7 acres in the Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge and a $61,200 proposal to purchase the 5.3-acre Thicket Run Property in Sandwich, approved for funding pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 21E and the Massachusetts Contingency Plan.

Additionally, EEA announced that two proposals, the Town of Sandwich's $400,000 project to develop a comprehensive water resource management plan, and the Upper Cape Regional Water Supply Cooperative's proposed $371,800 Sagamore Lens Aquifer-Sustainable Management of Water Resources Plan (of which $175,000 will be funded by the Department of Defense), were recommended for funding pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund. The proposals recommended for funding pursuant to CERCLA require the preparation of a Restoration Plan that will be subject to public review and comment.

A complete listing of proposals received in response to a formal Request for Responses (RFR) issued by EEA in January 2009 is as follows:

Project Name: Land Acquisition - 13.7 acres in the Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge pdf format of orenda-lovells-lanel.pdf file size 1MB
Applicant: Orenda Wildlife Land Trust

Project Name: Land Acquisition - Thicket Run Property pdf format of swd-thicket-run.pdf file size 18MB
Applicant: Sandwich Water District

Project Name: Development of a Comprehensive Water Resource Management Plan (CWRMP) pdf format of sandwich-cwrmp.pdf file size 1MB
Applicant: Town of Sandwich

Project Name: Sagamore Lens Aquifer - Safe Yield Analysis and Water Resource Recovery pdf format of cooperative-sagamore-lens-aquifer.pdf file size 11MB
Applicant: Upper Cape Regional Water Supply Cooperative

Project Name: Water Supply Transfer Station pdf format of swd-water-transfer-station.pdf file size 4MB
Applicant: Sandwich Water District

Project Name: Technical evaluation to develop nitrogen Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Limits for 7 estuaries receiving groundwater recharge from the Sagamore Lens Groundwater System pdf format of falmouth-tmdl-2.pdf file size 3MB
Applicant: Town of Falmouth Department of Public Works

Project Name: Technical/Legal Services/Coordination to Support Development of Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility at the MMR to Serve Falmouth, Mashpee, Bourne, & Sandwich for Groundwater & Wastewater Management. pdf format of falmouth-regional-wwtp-1.pdf file size 5MB

Project Name: PCE Bleeder Reduction by Re-lining of Existing AC Water Main pdf format of swd-pce-bleeder.pdf file size 5MB
Applicant: Sandwich Water District

Project Name: Santuit Pond Diagnostic Study pdf format of mashpee-santuit-pond.pdf file size 2MB
Applicant: Town of Mashpee

Project Name: Regional Wastewater Management Public Participation Project for Upper Cape Cod pdf format of ccc-public-participation.pdf
Applicant: Cape Cod Commission

Project Name: Mashpee Blue Pages pdf format of mashpee-blue-pages.pdf
Applicant: Town of Mashpee

Project Name: EcoStation to Restore Groundwater at Mass Military Reservation Site pdf format of jted-eco-station.pdf file size 1MB
Applicant: John Todd Ecological Design

The Public's Role

As the Commonwealth considers restoration alternatives for groundwater, proposed restoration projects will be developed with public input and subject to public comment before implementation.

Textron / Mass Military Reservation NRD Trustee Contacts

MA Department of Environmental Protection
Karen Pelto

This information is provided by the Massachusetts Natural Damages Assessment and Restoration.