SAVANNAH, Ga. – Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, will answer questions from residents living on the former Pontiac Bombing Range in eastern Richland County, during a public meeting May 1, 2023, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Spring Valley High School Cafeteria, 120 Sparkleberry Lane, in Columbia, S.C.
The Corps of Engineers has a requirement to periodically notify landowners of the military’s previous use of lands, even if the land has been in private use for decades. Residents are welcome to come and go throughout the evening. A formal presentation isn’t scheduled to take place during this meeting.
During the meeting, the Corps of Engineers representatives will provide information on how the military used the area during World War II. Experts will also discuss past and possible future investigations into possible hazards that might still linger in the area.
The former Pontiac Bombing Range was used by the Army Air Force in World War II as a practice range. Munitions used there were inert practice bombs containing sand and a small spotting charge similar to the explosive power of a common shotgun shell, without pellets.
The former range sits east of Columbia and northeast of the intersection of Hard Scrabble Road and Clemson Road, in a residential area.
While the risk to human safety is very low, officials say residents must follow the “3Rs” of ordnance safety should they come across something unusual. The three Rs are:
Recognize: Realize that the item is out of place or does not belong in the area
Retreat: Note the location but do not handle the item, play with it, carry it home or disturb it further
Report: Contact local law enforcement authorities to report the item and let the experts handle it.
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Release no. 23-007