Sep 28, 2009

Student Newspaper Knocks University's Lack of Transparency

For 16 years, the university and the Army Corps have been digging for World War I-era munitions. The backstory is that this campus was a serious chemical warfare research center from 1917 to 1918 ... Every student at this university should be aware of these issues. Every AU applicant should, too. The university should open its archives and provide students with more information. Transparency must be more than a buzzword considering the severity of chemical hazards on our campus. Students should be skeptical of the notion that AU is doing all that it could be doing.
The Eagle

September 28, 2009

Sep 27, 2009

Sunday Walk Revisits Scene of 1918 Chemical Weapons Testing

"The purpose of the tour is to encourage more historical research, investigation and cleanup here," said Kent Slowinski, who led more than a dozen people on the walk ... Aaron Lloyd, 38, grew up in Spring Valley. Less than a decade ago, his stepfather found munitions buried in the back yard of the home where Lloyd grew up and where his mother had kept a garden. "It's very disturbing," he said. "Someone had to have known about these chemical weapons before 1993." Nan Wells, an advisory neighborhood commissioner from Spring Valley, said she hopes that the tour will help engage the public ... She also hopes that the Army Corps of Engineers, which along with the D.C. Department of the Environment is overseeing the cleanup and destruction of the munitions, will continue to fund the project. For fiscal 2010, the Corps has allotted $11 million to the cleanup effort. The number drops to $3 million in fiscal 2011 and $500,000 the following fiscal year.
Yamiche Alcindor
Washington Post

September 21, 2009 (pg. B-1)
Nan S. Wells, ANC Commissioner 3D03
During the tour, EcoSense members heard details about the Spring Valley FUDS - one of more than 5,000 contaminated sites in the United States once used by the military that require cleanup. The Spring Valley FUDS holds the unique distinction of being the only site with both chemical warfare agents and munitions in a residential neighborhood and on a university campus ... Kristin Kozlowski, a graduate student in AU's Public Anthropology program, said the information came as a surprise. "It's pretty shocking. I didn't know any of this previously," she said. "I hadn't seen this in any literature from campus or anything." 
Christopher Cottrell
The Eagle

September 27, 2009

Sep 9, 2009

Vapor Containment Tents Going Up Around Glenbrook Road House

Investigations are currently paused at the ‘Pit 3 Area’ property as a result of the early August recovery of a flask containing a small amount of the chemical agent mustard ... As a precautionary measure, vapor containment tents will be constructed over three test pits where there may be additional intact laboratory glassware. Based on the findings of the excavations in these three test pits, the team along with our interagency partners ... will determine the approach for completing the remaining investigations and restoration on the property. Construction of these protective tents is expected to start in September.
Spring Valley Project Update
August 2009

The Corps expects further “high probability” digging at the Pit 3 location at 4825 Glenbrook Road to recommence in late October at the earliest, according to Dan Noble, the Military Response Program manager ... Switching back to high-probability procedures at Pit 3 will require additional precautionary measures ... Our workers will be upgrading to a level B personal protective equipment, working off supplied air, complete skin protection and things like that,” he said.“So ... we have to essentially plan for a high-probability situation, get it through all the approvals we need to get it through, bring back the high-probability crews and get them trained up.”
Christopher Cottrell
The Eagle ~ September 9, 2009
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