Apr 30, 2011

RAB Skeptics Try to Torpedo Spring Valley Follow-Up Health Study

At the April Restoration Advisory Board meeting, skeptics derailed efforts to lobby D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray in favor of granting budget authority to the Dept. of the Environment to spend the $250,000 already appropriated for the Spring Valley follow-up health study recommended by Johns Hopkins University.

L. Monsein: In order to get a one in ten thousand risk increase in death by cancer because of arsenic, we calculated you'd have to eat a bucket of dirt every day for thirty years (14:15) ... There's just this hysterical: "We gotta study this, we gotta study this! People are dying!" People have psychological problems and other health problems and so forth. And people won't rest until it's proven that their problems are due to environmental agents in this community (15:32).

M. Pritzker: I have not heard yet any outside person who has studied it or is knowledgeable or is an expert who can conclude that anything that has occurred starting in World War I has physically harmed members of the Spring Valley community (26:56).
RAB Meeting (audio recording)
April 12, 2011

A yearlong survey of health problems in a 345-house section of Spring Valley has turned up 160 cases of chronic, often life-threatening and rare diseases — roughly one in every six homes — in the epicenter of the U.S. Army’s World War I chemical warfare testing grounds. The survey, coordinated through The Current, showed 131 individuals afflicted with 56 separate diseases of which more than half — 30 — can be linked to arsenic and other lethal agents that were developed, tested and then buried in the neighborhood during and after the war that ended in 1918.
Charlie Bermpohl
Northwest Current
November 10, 2004 (pg. B-1)

Apr 22, 2011

After WW II Allies Dumped 450 Tons of CW Off East Japan Coast

Offshore of Choshi Bay was one of the biggest chemical dump sites in Japan. The Allied Forces dumped 450 tons of chemical weapons in depths of 100 – 200 meters between October 1945 and May 1946. According to the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, more than 600 incidents were reported to the government (shown by the red circle) ... and more than 50 people have suffered from the incidents around the Bay.

More than two thirds of the incidents occurred in the 1970s and in 1972 people discovered chemical weapons and agents on 66 occasions. However, no incident was reported to the government from 1993 to 2001. In fact, it is reported that fishermen in the bay area have been throwing the discovered chemical weapons back to the ocean without notifying the government. The fishermen are worried about a rumor that the fish from this region might be polluted by the weapons, which would affect their business. This would cause a larger scale of chemical material scattering.
Ryo Sato, Research Assistant
Global Green USA
Sea-Dumped Chemical Weapons: Japan (pgs. 14 - 15)

Apr 19, 2011

University Official Admits 18-Year Cleanup "Involves Many Unknowns"

Spring Valley resident Rick Feeney lived at 4835 Glenbrook Rd. before it was the AU president’s house. In the summer of 1992, Feeney was cutting his grass when he noticed his dog yelping in the new pit construction workers had dug near his home. Liquid was coming from the dog’s eyes, and as Feeney got closer to the pit, his skin began to burn, according to a report by Washingtonian writer Harry Jaffe. Feeney told Jaffe that he felt like he had been hit with a toxic gas ...

In 1996, a landscaper was removing dirt to plant a tree at 4835 Glenbrook Rd. when smoke started pouring out of the hole he had dug. As his face began to swell, his coworkers rushed him to a hospital emergency room, according to an account in the Northwest Current [pg. B-4]. The landscaper survived, but he was one of several with long-lasting health problems caused by construction work in Spring Valley.

"American at War" Interactive Map
AU Chief of Staff David Taylor said the University’s next actions all depend on the Army Corps’ progress. “The Army Corps’ work involves many unknowns,” he said. “New information evolves as the investigation unfolds and we learn as much as we can about each circumstance.” AU may allow the unoccupied 4825 Glenbrook Rd. house to be torn down for a more thorough investigation of chemical and munitions burial pits, which may extend under the house, The Eagle reported in September.
Sylvia Carignan
The Eagle
April 18, 2011

Apr 4, 2011

Search for Campus Perchlorate Source Resumes Over Intersession

A total of 15 soil borings and co-located groundwater samples are proposed to further characterize the perchlorate source on the AU campus. All discrete soil samples and groundwater samples will be analyzed for perchlorate. Most of these borings are currently situated between PZ-4 [at Kreeger Hall] and upgradient shallow wells [near Watkins and Hamilton] ... USACE confirmed that late spring is the preferable season for sampling first water due to rainfall flushing through the soil, in contrast to the dry summer season. The ideal time frame for AU is in late spring 2011, between completion of the spring semester and the beginning of summer classes [May 9 - 30] ...

"SA" designates locations of temporary perchlorate wells
USACE requested feedback from AU regarding potential geophysical surveys and subsequent intrusive investigation in front of Kreeger Hall on the AU campus for the purpose of investigating a 1918 ground scar. This ground scar may be a shadow on the 1918 aerial photograph and received little attention early during the Spring Valley project, but someone from EPA subsequently described this ground scar as a probable ‘T’ [trench]. This ground scar is also located adjacent to elevated perchlorate detections at PZ-4.
Spring Valley Partnering Meeting
January 25, 2011 (pgs. 5, 10 & 26)
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