Residents concerned over ordnance training - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Residents concerned over ordnance training

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CAROLINE COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - Over the next year, construction will begin at Fort A.P. Hill on facilities to train thousands of explosives ordnance disposal soldiers, but the move is not without controversy.

Under the proposal nearly 18 thousand explosives will be detonated on the post yearly. Nearby residents are worried about noise, as well as, how often and exactly when those explosives will be set off.

The new explosive ordnance disposal or EOD training facilities are slated to be built just two miles south of the small town of Port Royal.

"The main concern is the impact it's going to have on our property and our right to enjoy our property with peace and quiet, " said Mayor Nancy Long.

The mayor and other residents say they already occasionally feel vibrations and shakes from explosives training at A.P. Hill. They say the decision to locate all heavy EOD field training from Fort Lee to A.P. Hill under the BRAC expansion will worsen the problem.

"If this multiples and continues to grow each year, because we have no grantees on anything, it concerns me to what the damage will be. There are articles stating that continued explosive sounds can increase blood pressure," said Long.

Military officials say they are working with the community to answer questions and address all concerns.

"We're looking for alternatives. We're always looking for ways to mitigate and we mitigate noise here daily," said Lt. Col. Jack Haefner.

Haefner says there's also consideration of moving the EOD training site further away from the Port Royal boundary line and closer to the post's interior.

"The majority of these blasts are very small about as big as your fist," said Haefner.

EOD Soldiers will train during the day and at night.

"They need a place where they can do this stuff and this is the place where they can get this stuff done," said Haefner.

Military officials here say they'll continue to comb through community concerns and questions before making a final decision.

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