A test detonation of 500,000 pounds of high explosive will have no significant impact on the environment, according to an environmental assessment prepared by the Ogden Air Logistics Center.
The test, tentatively scheduled for Nov. 8, will be conducted on the Utah Test and Training Range west of the Great Salt Lake, according to a press release issued by Hill Air Force Base.It will be the largest test to date on the range, surpassing a 250,000 pound test conducted 20 years ago.
Because of the size of the detonation, Ogden Air Logistics Center officials prepared an environmental assessment which resulted in a finding of no significant impact. The document is available to the public upon request.
The test is designed to help develop safe storage of air munitions to meet Air Force requirements. The test will involve a new, highly economical storage structure called the Hayman Igloo. Two of the special igloos will be constructed. The high explosives will be detonated in one igloo. The other igloo, spaced a designated distance away on the test bed, will be heavily instrumented to measure the effects of the blast.
The assessment report showed that the large boom and dust cloud from the explosion will create no significant problems. The dust will settle or disperse soon afterwards, causing no health or environmental risks, according to the document.
Under certain weather conditions, such as low cloud ceilings or inverted temperatures, the sound or shock wave could be felt in communities to the east of the Great Salt Lake.
However, a sophisticated weather monitoring system wil be used before the blast, and if unacceptable weather conditions are present, the test will be postponed. Also, base officials will notify people in nearby areas such as Lakeside Railroad Camp and the West Desert Pumping Station so they won't be startled by the noise.