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

1 comment:

Allen Hengst said...

Harry Jaffe
THE EXAMINER(June 12, 2009):

"Seems everywhere the military sets up shop, it often leaves a mess, sometimes a toxic one. Since the Washington region is home to many forts and bases, airfields and Navy yards, we are also the home to a few toxic waste sites. With great irony, the most toxic site is also in one of the capital city’s most elite neighborhoods: Spring Valley. The Northwest community, by the Maryland line, has been home to presidents and generals and senators for decades. And since the U.S. Army used the farms and forests around Ward Circle to develop chemical weapons for World War I, it has been the resting place for bombs filled with mustard gas and arsenic and poison gases such as arsine."


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