Army Corp of Engineers taking comment on old combat range

Only one letter received so far; deadline is today

PORT ANGELES — The public comment period ends today on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ proposal to leave as-is 2,007 acres of an old combat range southeast of Port Angeles.

The former Port Angeles Combat Range Munition Response Site, which served as a ground-to-ground-combat range from 1943 through May 1944, is near Deer Park. The entire range is 2,629 acres and extends into Olympic National Park, but the area the Corps investigated is Site No. 2 which covers 2,007 acres.

“We found no evidence of munitions,” said Mirek Towster, project manager, speaking from Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday.

“That’s the portion for which we have found no unacceptable risk.”

An unacceptable risk does exist on a separate 151.7 acres of land that was deeded to the city of Port Angeles for a watershed in 1968, Towster said, but the Corps’ report issued to gain public comment concerns only the 2,007 acres of Site No. 2.

Three sites make up the entire range. The third is held by a private landowner.

A portion of Site No. 2 runs along the northern boundary of Olympic National Park, so the Corps is not concerned that unexploded munitions might be in the park, Towster said.

Written comment can be made to Towster at USACE – Kansas City District, Environmental Programs Branch, Room 463, 601 E. 12th St., Kansas City, MO 64106 or emailed to [email protected].

So far, one comment has been received, Towster said. That was from the state Department of Ecology.

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