image of barnstable county courthouse

Board of Commissioners Urges Senator Warren to Oppose Funding for the Proposed Machine Gun Range Planned for Construction on Upper Cape Water Supply Reserve

June 5, 2024 (BARNSTABLE, MA) – Today the Board of Regional Commissioners voted to send a letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren urging her to ensure that the Massachusetts Army National Guard’s funding extension request for the multipurpose machine gun range (MPMGR) on the Upper Cape Water Supply Reserve is not included in the Senate’s 2025 National Defense Authorization Act.    

This action follows numerous advocacy actions taken by the Board over the past two years to protect Cape Cod’s Sole Source Aquifer which provides drinking water to more than 210,000 year-round residents.   

The Board of Regional Commissioners also received updates on two significant County environmental programs. Cape Cod Commission staff provided an update to the Board on the Ponds Initiative and also heard from the Health Department’s Wastewater Division on expansion of a Clean Water Center and Septic Utility Program operated at the County’s Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center.  

In other news, today Barnstable County announced the retirement of Sean O’Brien, Director of the Department of Health and Environment, effective July 1, 2024, after nearly 38 years of dedicated service in public health. Sean has been a cornerstone of the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment for nearly four decades. Sean held the role of Emergency Preparedness Coordinator and was instrumental in establishing the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee (BCREPC), which he led from 2001 to 2020. The BCREPC has significantly enhanced the County’s ability to respond to emergencies, serving as a model for similar efforts throughout the state. 

Seven years ago, Sean became the Director of Health and Environment, leading the Department with vision and dedication and making significant contributions to public health and environmental protection. Most recently, he has been at the forefront of regional efforts to combat COVID-19, ensuring public safety and health. 


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