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Environment

Defense Department Detonates Explosives In Eastern Idaho Rock Bed

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Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Something unusual happened Thursday near Newdale in eastern Idaho. The Department of Defense detonated more than 200 pounds of explosives deep underground near the old Teton Dam site.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, an anti-terrorism branch of the government founded in 1998, says it wanted to conduct the test to better understand how the specific rock type found in that area absorbs shock waves.

Environmentalists were initially concerned about possible impacts on wildlife and groundwater but say those concerns were put to rest by environmental assessments.

The Teton Valley News first reported the story Thursday.

Though the DTRA is an antiterrorism agency, the stated purpose of the explosion is to help gather data for “treaty verification applications.” The dam site was chosen because the agency needs shock wave data on the specific type of rock it lies on, called “volcanic tuff,” and because there is already extensive geological data available of the area from the studies conducted before the dam was built in the ‘70s. - Teton Valley News

You can read more here.

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