Part of a pamphlet distributed to Hull residents by the US Army Corps of Engineers. (US Army Corps of Engineers)
HULL, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The former Fort Standish, which sits on Lovells Island in Boston Harbor, was used as part of the Boston Harbor Defense System during World Wars I and II. The fort's main purpose to defend the harbor from any potential naval warships from American's enemies.
The fort has been closed since 1949, but the past echoes into the modern day—now, the Army Corps of Engineers says it is "unable to rule out the presence of munitions that may pose an explosive hazard," and is educating residents on what to do if they spot any potential munitions.
Gary Morin, FUDS Program Manager at the Army Corps of Engineers, spoke to WBZ NewsRadio's Laurie Kirby about the awareness campaign. FUDS stands for Formerly Used Defense Sites programs.
"Department of Defense may have fired large-caliber type munitions from the island, that of course would have emanated out into the harbor and potentially over to Hull," he said. "The issue is whether or not there are any remaining munitions that could still be out there, both in the water and out on land."
The Army Corps sent out pamphlets to Hull residents, explaining their "3Rs of Explosives Safety"—to "Recognize" when they may have encountered a munition, to "Retreat" and not touch, move, or disturb the potential munition, and to call 911 to "Report" what you saw and where you saw it.
It's part of a larger effort that started in the early 2000s, when Congress directed the Department of Defense to inventory all potential munitions sites.
Morin said no munitions have been found yet in Hull, but many potential items were used during wartime training exercises. He said anything still out there would probably be rusted and rotted by now—the pamphlet includes a photo example of what munitions exposed to salt water for a long time might look like.
So, what happens if potential munitions are found?
"There are two potentials," Morin said. "The State Police bomb squad would respond, along with the local law enforcement, or an explosive unit, what we call an EOD unit, would respond."
Learn more about the "3Rs" here, and to hear Kirby's full interview with Morin, listen below.
WBZ NewsRadio's Laurie Kirby (@LaurieWBZ) reports