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Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners Chair Applauds EPA’s Findings that Oppose Machine Gun Range at Joint Base Cape Cod  

April 27, 2023 (Barnstable, MA) – This morning, Chairman of the Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners, Mark Forest, commends the Environmental Protection Agency for its crucial findings that a machine gun range at Joint Base Cape Cod poses a major threat to public health. 

Chairman Forest, stated today, “I want to commend the EPA for their rigorous review and evaluation of the proposed machine gun range in the Upper Cape Water Supply Reserve. This reserve is among the most ecologically significant conservation areas in the Northeast and serves as the primary source of drinking water for Cape Cod. It is likened to the underground Quabbin Reservoir and must receive the same level of protection. Barnstable County’s Board of Commissioners has consistently and staunchly opposed the project for its potential threat to the region’s water supply. We urge all residents of Cape Cod to demonstrate their support of the EPA’s efforts and participate in the upcoming public hearing.” 

A summary of the EPA’s findings: 

• EPA’s draft report on the proposed machine gun range on Joint Base Cape Cod found that it would create a “significant public health hazard” by contaminating drinking water for 220,000 year-round residents in Upper Cape towns.  

• If finalized, the findings would effectively end the project and deny Department of Defense funding. 

• EPA found that 1.3 million bullets per year used on the range could get into people’s drinking water and potentially require expensive systems to be constructed.  

• Site is a designated Superfund Site due to high levels of hazardous waste imperiling the aquifer from 1940s through 1970s military activity.  

• EPA report follows years of Guard assurances that proposed range would have “no significant impact”; Guard may submit new data or proposal before recommendation sent to EPA administrator for final decision. 

On September 15, 2021, the Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency urging them to reject the Army National Guard’s proposal for a multi-machine gun range due to the environmental impact. A fully executed copy is accessible at 

ABOUT BARNSTABLE COUNTY REGIONAL GOVERNMENT OF CAPE COD: Barnstable County provides exemplary government functions and services to keep our community healthy and safe, promote sustainable growth, and offer a proactive, open government that enhances the quality of life for the citizens of Barnstable County. Learn more at