JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District will hold a public meeting Tuesday, June 25 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Central High School, 14075 Ken Austin Parkway, Brooksville, Fla. Corps representatives will explain the Proposed Plan for the Brooksville Turret Gunnery Range Formerly Used Defense Site. The community is invited to review and comment on the plan during the public comment period, June 25 through July 26, 2013.
The former Brooksville Turret Gunnery Range comprised about 10,200 acres in Hernando County, approximately 40 miles north of Tampa. It was established in 1943 to train bomber turret gunners in support of World War II. Beginning in 1944, Army infantry training was also conducted at the site. Shortly after the war ended, the site was no longer needed by the military. All leases were terminated and the property was returned to the owners. Beginning the in late 1990s, a number of investigations were conducted, during which munitions and munitions debris were removed from the site, primarily in the southern portion of the property. Removal actions were completed in 2010.
A Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study was then initiated on two portions of the property not previously investigated, during which more than 11,000 metallic objects were recovered. None of the objects were munitions, and only eight pieces of munitions debris, containing no explosives hazards, were found. Soil, water and sediment samples were collected and analyzed for explosives and metals associated with munitions, but nothing was detected that indicates environmental contamination as a result of the military’s use of the site.
Based on the results of the investigation, the Corps evaluated six different alternatives, ranging from no action to excavation and restoration. No further action is required on one of the two areas, since nothing was found there. The preferred alternative for the other area, the 2.36-inch Rocket Ranges, is an education program coupled with five-year reviews. The Corps will keep the public informed about the military’s past use of the site and the potential that munitions could still remain in the Rocket Ranges areas (area on Webster and Taft Streets between Weeping Willow Street and Jayson Drive and the area bordered by Montour Road to the south, Exile Road to the west, Pinetree Avenue/Harrison Street to the north and Weeping Willow Street to the east). The Corps will also re-evaluate the site at a minimum every five years, to ensure protection for people and the environment is maintained. The Proposed Plan and alternatives will be discussed at the June 25 public meeting.
Further information and project documents are available at the Hernando County Public Library, West Hernando Branch, 6335 Blackbird Avenue, Brooksville, Fla. Questions may be referred toll-free to 866-279-4880 or by e-mail to FUDS.Florida@usace.army.mil.
Comments on the Proposed Plan will be accepted at the public meeting or by mail, through July 26, 2013 to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
ATTN: Frank Araico (CESAJ-PM-M)
701 San Marco Boulevard
Jacksonville, FL 32207-8175
The potential for encountering munitions on the former Brooksville Turret Gunnery Range is low and munitions may not always be recognizable. If you do encounter potential munitions, follow the 3Rs of explosives safety: Recognize what you have encountered may be munitions, and munitions are dangerous. Retreat from the area without touching or moving the object. Report what you saw and where you saw it to local law enforcement immediately by dialing 9-1-1.
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