Nov 30, 2009

30 Days to Comment on Disposal of Chemical Warfare Materiel

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed an evaluation of alternatives [EE/CA] for the disposal of discarded military munitions recovered during investigations at the Spring Valley Formerly Used Defense Site ... USACE is in the process of investigating and cleaning up contamination resulting from operations during the World War I era. As a result of recent investigation efforts, a number of munitions were discovered. These include recovered chemical warfare materiel as well as conventional munitions that contain explosives ... This Notice serves as formal notification of the availability of the EE/CA for review, and the commencement of the 30-day public comment period.
Public Notice

Washington Post (November 30, 2009)

Several community activists worry about the safety hazards of exploding such dangerous chemicals near a residential neighborhood. "I think it would be much safer destroying the munitions on a military installation where you have some control of the population, instead of less than 500 feet from a residential neighborhood and less than 1,000 feet from the Dalecarlia Reservoir, which is the District's water supply," said Kent Slowinski ... Alma Gates, a member of the Restoration Advisory Board and a former Palisades advisory neighborhood commissioner, said she is confident in the Army's proposal.
Northwest Current
December 2, 2009: pg. 1

Nov 13, 2009

Magnetic Survey Flags Anomalies in Woods behind Sibley Hospital

Red tulips bloom on Federal property in Dalecarlia Woods (9/7/09)
Geophysical surveys are currently underway on 62 acres of federal and District of Columbia property [in the Dalecarlia Woods on the property of the Washington Aqueduct between Dalecarlia Parkway and the reservoir] ... A report of all anomalies detected will be generated for each subset of Dalecarlia Woods survey grids, followed by Anomaly Review Board (ARB) assessment and intrusive investigation ... The Dalecarlia Woods geophysical survey and intrusive investigations will tentatively require an anticipated time frame of 12 to 14 months until completion.
Restoration Advisory Board, Meeting Minutes
October 13, 2009 (pg, 11)

Nov 1, 2009

Railroad May Have Moved Munitions to Caves Dug in Hills Next to Dalecarlia Reservoir

The EPA Criminal Investigation Report states that, "It would have been efficient to load a large volume
[$800,000 worth of almost anything in 1918-1920 dollars would be a large volume] onto rail cars. There was a railway on the AU campus at the time which traversed elevation changes, particularly to the northwest. The material could have been taken to the elevation drop and a tunnel dug into the side of a hill. The material placed in this 'cave' would then be further concealed by subsequent fill material placed in the low area" ...

A periodical newsletter called
The Retort was published by "the Enemies of Germany" at the AUES Research Division. Edition No 1 dated October 6, 1918, states, "Narrow-Gauge Railway Constructed." Besides an interesting event when a car broke loose and almost smashed into Shack #10, which could have been catastrophic, the story contains several interesting details about the railroad. First, as with the Sgt. Maurer "Hole Called Hades," the railroad had a nickname: it was called the "Death's Valley Limited" or "Hillside Express" ... It also indicates that the railroad was completed on the campus six weeks before the war ended, and that an expansion westward was planned ...

One burial area (side of a hill near a railroad track) has been located: Area Of Interest #2, the Rick Woods Pit or the Relic Hunter's Pit ... In the month that followed October 6, 1918, the railway was extended from the AUES campus. What is now very clear is that it eventually reached the grounds of the Dalecarlia Reservoir. What is equally clear is that this expansion could only have been done for burial purposes.

Richard D. Albright
The Continuing Search for Burial Sites
Cleanup of Chemical & Explosive Munitions
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