Apr 24, 2008

Military Never Accounted For Chemical Munitions "Mother Lode"

The greatest risk AU students currently face is the potential existence of a large burial site of unexploded World War I-era munitions in the area, Buzz Bailey, a local attorney, said during a panel discussion ... "We have found pure lewisite, pure mustard and pure arsine gas right next to AU on Glenbrook Road," said Ken Shuster of the Environmental Protection Agency. "We know that some [chemical munitions] were buried here — but the big mother load [sic] we still have not yet found" ... "Unfortunately, when the military turned these lands over, they did not clean them up," Shuster said. "They did not even investigate them to determine what contaminants may exist."
Christopher Cottrell
The Eagle ~ April 24, 2008

Apr 17, 2008

Global Green USA Hosts Spring Valley Forum

At a panel discussion sponsored by Friends of the Earth, community activist Kent Slowinski traces the recent history of attempts to locate and remove chemical weapons buried under Spring Valley ninety years ago. Legacy Project Director, Paul Walker of Global Green USA (far right), looks on as Slowinski shows where Civil War relic hunters recovered World War I munitions next to Dalecarlia Reservoir, the District's water supply.

 Partners before "Rick Woods Pit" site visit (2/26/05) ~ USACE
The tour group then walked to the area where Rick Woods entered the Dalecarlia Woods previously, near the intersection of Rockwood Parkway and Dalecarlia Parkway. Thomas Jacobus, Washington Aqueduct, met them at this location and let them on to the property. R. Woods showed the group the area that he had found Civil War memorabilia years ago and, after going up a steep incline, located the small gauge railroad bed. There was a row of rocks there for erosion control and the bed looks like a walking trail today. Major Verell stated that it is definitely there and it was R. Woods' landmark for locating the area where he found munitions previously. The group traveled up a hill, turned east and went down a hill. R. Woods said this was definitely the area where he had found munitions. He said he was walking through the woods with a metal detector, got beeps, brushed some leaves away and started moving the dirt with a knife to locate the rounds. R. Woods reported that he began stacking the rounds against a tree and made 6-7 trips to his car, carrying 6-7 rounds on each trip.

Apr 14, 2008

Digging for Real Answers

"If there was ever a moment that we felt the university was hiding something, it's now. Whether administrators are filtering or burying information out of concern for bad press or heightened hysteria, the university's silence on the munitions dig is reprehensible at best. It seems that every new report about chemicals or components reveals a new weapons site that's geographically closer to the residence halls, the Child Development Center and other heavily populated campus areas."
Staff Editorial
The Eagle
April 14, 2008

Apr 10, 2008

Containment Structure Extended

The Corps lengthened the ECS [Emergency Containment Structure] by approximately 17 feet to the east toward American Uniiversity to further investigate the area, also known as "Pit 3," for remnants of World War I-era munitions or laboratory gear ... Work at Pit 3 will restart April 28.
Christopher Cottrell
The Eagle ~ April 9, 2008

Apr 4, 2008

Army Releases Video of Pit 3 Dig

Right here we have where we were in 2002 - 2003. This is ... the bottom of where we reached in Pit 3 — where we removed the hundreds of munitions items from the other side of the property.”
Carrie Johnston
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
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