Environmental Assessment of 100 Years of Military Training at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa – Phase 1 - Study of the Presence of Munitions-Related Residues in Soils and Vegetation of Main Ranges and Training Areas


  1. Brochu, S. et al.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN)
The first phase of the site characterization of Canadian Forces Base Petawawa range and training areas (RTAs) was conducted in fall 2004 as part of the Canadian Sustainable Training Program led by Defence R&D Canada – Valcartier and sponsored by Director Land Environment. The characterization was focussed on RTAs that had the highest potential for contamination according to their use. Samples of soil (200), vegetation (35), groundwater (40) and surface water (40) were collected and analyzed for the presence of energetics, heavy metals and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. This report covers only the soil and vegetation results; water results are reported elsewhere. Results showed that most of the soil samples were contaminated with either explosive (TNT, RDX, HMX) or propellant (NG, 2,4-DNT) residues. Unusually high NG and HMX concentrations were detected in an impact area and at a firing point, and results suggest a high persistence of NG in the environment. Although contamination levels at most of the RTAs evaluated are not critical, trace amounts of explosive residues were detected in groundwater. Further characterization of certain areas (demolition, anti-tank and small arms ranges, the old grenade range, Impact Area 2 and firing points) is therefore required either to verify the findings or to better define the source of the contamination.

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Soil pollution;Environmental impacts of explosives;Ecotoxicology of explosives;Groundwater contamination;Canadian Forces Base Petawawa;Munitions residues;Energetics;Site characterization;Polyaromatic hydrocarbons;Dioxin
Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-TR-2008-118 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Dec 2009
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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