EPA plans explosive detonations east of Hollister

A herd of cattle graze on the dry hills alond Santa Ana Valley Road in this file photo.

The San Benito County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to dispose of more than 15 tons of abandoned explosive materials this week, according to a press release.
The explosive materials include smokeless powder, black powder, silver iodide and silver iodate, which will be detonated in dirt trenches that have been prepared east of town, according to the statement.
“Right now, all the fire department is doing is stand by, for any event that happens with this detonation, and EPA is taking the lead with the event,” said Bob Martin Del Campo, the chief of the Hollister Fire Department, in a voicemail message to the Free Lance.
The detonations will occur between noon and 3 p.m. each afternoon this week, according to the press release. The explosions will be controlled but may be visible and audible to the surrounding community, according to the statement.
EPA is working with the City of Hollister Fire Department, the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to the release.
The Monterey County Bomb Squad will conduct the onsite disposal of the explosives. EPA will oversee the construction of the trenches, in addition to air and soil monitoring, according to the press release.

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