Jun 21, 2009

Army Must Divulge Secret Inventory of Recovered Chemical Warfare Ordnance

The [House Subcommittee] members also criticized the corps for refusing to make public a list of the weapons, chemicals and other items it had uncovered at the site. George Hawkins, director of D.C. Department of Environment, said he had been denied access to the list for refusing to sign a nondisclosure agreement. Norton asked the panel for reasons why WWI-era weapons at the site needed to remain classified and demanded a list be provided to the members of the subcommittee ... Addison Davis, the assistant secretary for Army environment, safety and occupational health, said he would provide that list to members and that he would look into whether they could be made public.
Environment & Energy Daily
June 11, 2009

Del. Norton: "What is the secret?" [Panel Two 48:35]
"The history of Spring Valley is long and convoluted, but at its core is the Army's decision during World War I to use this area in Northwest, D.C. for the first dangerous tests and experiments with its new and developing chemical weapons program. The decision to locate a major chemical testing facility and then to bury the debris, unexploded ordnance and chemicals on the site was no accident. The District had no local government and its citizens could elect no one to speak for them in the city where they lived, and no one to represent them in the Congress, which collected their taxes. The federal government itself ruled the city using federally appointed commissioners. Thus, the Army was free to do here what it could not do in Maryland or Virginia or any other state close to a residential area."
June 10, 2009

Jun 10, 2009

Explosively Configured 75 mm Arsine Round to be Destroyed Behind Sibley Hospital

At least one of the recently recovered munitions is an explosively configured arsine-filled 75 mm round. Arsine is the most toxic chemical warfare agent found to date in Spring Valley. There is no antidote for arsine exposure ... Arsine-filled rounds have never been destroyed in a residential neighborhood. Perhaps for good reason ... More than a dozen residents live within 500 feet of the proposed chemical munitions destruction site. Less than 1,000 feet away is the District's drinking water supply, as well as Sibley Hospital.
Kent Slowinski
Northwest Current ~ (June 10, 2009: pg. 11)

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