After an optimistic start that sputtered, military officials are proceeding more cautiously in proposing a "superpond" at Aberdeen Proving Ground. This 60-acre, 150-foot deep pond would be used to test the vulnerabilities and tolerances of Navy submarines and ships to various kinds of combat-type explosions. Parts or models of the vessels would be towed in by barge. The pond would be dredged in part of the Bush River
already enveloped by the Proving Ground.
The $22 million proposal warrants careful review. The huge APG facility is easily Harford County's largest employer. Testing multitudinous kinds of weaponry is one of its primary roles. Long-time countians tell you that you'll get accustomed to hearing the things that go boom in the distance; "Oh, they're just testing over at APG," is the often-tolerant explanation visitors hear.
The superpond project surfaced in May when the military said the pond would be an unmistakable asset for APG, the community and the environment, producing millions in construction contracts, temporary work and 50 permanent jobs. Plus the dredged spoil would be used for 100 acres of new wetlands that would benefit the Chesapeake Bay. Explosions, most of them underwater, would occur well outside normal waterways.