BURLINGTON, Vt. — The Vermont Army National Guard is planning to build a live-fire demolition and explosive facility at the Camp Ethan Allen Training Site in Bolton, Jericho and Underhill.
The light demolition range will create more noise at the 11,000-acre site, the Burlington Free Press reported on Friday. Work on it is expected to start this summer.
“The proposed Light Demolition Range is a live-fire demolition and explosive facility that would meet Army specifications and allow Vermont Army National Guard units to train on the use and employment of explosives in various applications such as timber cutting, steel cutting and obstacle reduction,” the Guard said in a news release.
According to a draft environmental assessment from the town of Underhill, eight stations for demolition tasks will be created using the mountainous landscape, the newspaper reported.
Having such a site in Vermont means that soldiers won’t have to travel to New York for training, the Guard said.
The new 82,668-square-foot facility is expected to be completed in the spring of 2022.
“The United States Army has charged the Vermont Army National Guard to provide ready Soldiers who are prepared to fight and win anywhere in the world,” Brig. Gen. James Pabis, assistant adjutant general with the Vermont Army National Guard, said. “Rather than spending over six hours just traveling to Fort Drum, our soldiers can spend their time conducting hands-on training.”
A majority of Underhill residents who submitted public comment on the plan said they were concerned about noise. Residents in Bolton, Jericho and Underhill could experience up to 77 decibels on average, according to an operational noise assessment, which said that a moderate number of complaints is typical when noise exceeds 115 decibels at peak levels.
The Guard found “no significant impact” even though noise will increase somewhat, the newspaper reported.
The Guard will share scheduled trainings with town administrators to post.