Dec 22, 2011

Omnibus 2012 Spending Bill Aims for DoD Funded Health Study

The Office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced today that language encouraging the Department of Defense to support public health studies of Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) in densely populated communities, like Spring Valley in Northwest Washington, D.C., was included in the report accompanying the fiscal year 2012 omnibus spending bill recently passed by Congress.
“The report language is part of my 18-year effort to ensure the health and safety of residents living near the Spring Valley FUDS, a community that developed around the American University campus without any knowledge that their original neighborhood had been among America’s largest development and testing sites for chemical and other weapons during World War I,” Norton said.

Earlier this year, Norton offered an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill for a study of the health effects of the Spring Valley FUDS, after a constituent asked her at the July 4th Palisades parade if she could get a comprehensive public health study of Spring Valley.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
Press Release (December 22, 2011)

Dec 17, 2011

Commission Splits Over Extent of Army Cleanup on Glenbrook Road

After a contentious debate, the commission agreed last week to form a committee to report next month on the removal of dangerous World War I chemicals from the soil of 4825 Glenbrook Road and possibly 4835 Glenbrook Road as well. But commissioners are still disagreeing over what their role should be in the cleanup ...

Eventually commissioners voted to table the matter until their January meeting and to appoint Commissioner Nan Wells to draft a consensus resolution. But in a later interview, [Commission chair Thomas] Smith said he might designate a new chair, as some committee members object to Wells as the leader. He said his position as commission chair gives him the right to appoint the committee head.

Northwest Current
December 14, 2011 ( pg. 5)

Dec 12, 2011

Spring Valley Residents Still Harbor Health Concerns Despite Study

The Bohlens have lived in the Spring Valley section of Northwest Washington for 52 years, raising three children and now settling into retirement. Over the past two decades, the Army Corps of Engineers has excavated pockets of their wealthy, tree-lined neighborhood, which was built over the Army’s World War I chemical warfare testing grounds, to analyze possible contamination. Now, Johns Hopkins University is about to embark on yet another health study in this neighborhood. The Bohlens are typical of families there who still wonder whether certain cancers and other serious health problems have been caused by the presence of buried toxic chemicals ...

Tall but fragile, Geza Teleki moves slowly around his Bethesda home, where he moved a few years ago with his wife, Heather, after raising their children in Spring Valley. Before he retired, Teleki was a conservationist, once serving as director of national parks in Sierra Leone. He was in “excellent health,” he said, before he left Africa in the 1990s and returned to Spring Valley. Teleki then worked from his basement office as a lobbyist for the World Wildlife Fund ... His feet turned black, to the confusion of his doctors. No one could understand what it was, he said. “As it turned out, the soldiers in World War I who had arsenic gas contamination — their feet turned black.”
Sylvia Carignan
Washington Post
December 12, 2011 (pg. B-1)
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