Jan 25, 2012

Questions Raised over Extent of Planned Glenbrook Road Cleanup

A late-February final approval is expected for plans to clear buried World War I-era poisonous waste from the property at 4825 Glenbrook Road. The recommended plan, which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released in December, calls for tearing down the Spring Valley home and digging up to 12 feet beneath it to remove any buried munitions and chemicals ... The Army Corps has spent more than $200 million on munitions cleanup in the Spring Valley neighborhood since 2003. During World War I, the Army used American University as a testing site, firing weapons into then-undeveloped woods around the campus. In 1918, 4825 Glenbrook Road was a dumpsite for chemical and explosive munitions and related debris; officials believe a pit was disturbed there when a home was built in 1992 ...
Kent Slowinski, an advisory neighborhood commissioner in the area and former member of the Restoration Advisory Board, has expressed concerns that the current plan doesn’t account for possible poisonous residue left beneath the adjacent property, 4835 Glenbrook Road. According to Slowinski, bulldozers ran over bottles of a blistering agent at the border of the properties when the two houses were first constructed. In addition, he said, contractors planting a tree at 4835 Glenbrook in 1996 suffered from chemical burns when they sliced through a bucket of chemical-filled bottles.
Northwest Current
January 25, 2012 (pg. 2)

Jan 11, 2012

Neglected Photo Analysis Put Sgt. Maurer Pit on University Grounds

The Spring Valley partners and the Restoration Advisory Board have failed to act on many of these critical issues, which could cause the cleanup to drag on even longer. My main concern with the Army Corps’ “proposed plan” for 4825 Glenbrook Road is that there is no contingency for cleaning up adjacent properties ...

The Spring Valley partners failed to follow through on various commitments. For example, in 2001 the partners agreed to conduct indoor air monitoring at 4825 Glenbrook Road and five other properties to determine what chemical vapors were migrating from the soil into the house [pg. 2 of 6/24/02 Partnering Mtg. minutes] ... Eleven years later, this still has not been conducted at 4825 Glenbrook Road.
Advisory neighborhood commissioners do not need advanced technical expertise to make informed decisions on these issues. There are many experts who can explain the issues in ways that anyone can understand. Examples include the Restoration Advisory Board’s technical expert, Dr. Peter deFurr, who compiled a list of the chemicals detected at 4825 Glenbrook Road; American University’s public health consultant, Dr. Paul Chrostowski, who asked the Army Corps to clean up the Glenbrook Road site to a stricter standard given the number of toxic chemicals detected on the site; and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Terry Slonecker, who identified the possible burial pit locations on the university campus.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3D needs to practice due diligence to make sure that a thorough investigation and cleanup of the Glenbrook Road properties is conducted. We need more oversight, not less.

Kent Slowinski, ANC-3D
Northwest Current Viewpoint
January 11, 2012 (pg. 9)

Figure 10: Intersection of six circles denotes location of 1918 pit
UPDATED RANKINGS OF POSSIBLE SITES: Findings from the previous report, Terrestrial Photogrammetry of a 1918 Ground Photograph: Analysis of Three Potential 1918 Disposal Sites, Lockheed Martin, Las Vegas, NV August 2000, indicated that Site 2 was the most likely location of the burial pit, and sites 1 and 3 were ranked the next likely sites, in that order of likelihood. Site 3 was placed last because the resolution in a 1918 aerial photomosaic provided was so poor that the outline of buildings could not be discerned, providing insufficient evidence to support a higher ranking.

Sgt. Maurer pit likely south of Army trailers above
In the process of determining the new coordinates for the three possible sites, a geographically-corrected map of the 1918 building locations and a much higher-resolution version of the photomosaic were acquired which showed the area in the vicinity of the burial site very clearly ... Figure 10 depicts the intersection of six circles that denotes location of 1918 pit for possible site 3 ... Coordinates of the site 3 1918 pit are: 773,328.3 feet in x; 401,185.8 feet in y (Maryland State Plane Coordinate System, NAD 1927).
E. T. Slonecker
Coordinate Computation of Ordnance Burial Site
December 2000 (pgs. 4 & 6)

Likely location of pit is to the left (south) of trailers

Jan 6, 2012

Army Sweeps Southwest Corner of Campus for WW I-Era "Anomalies"

Anomaly next to Child Development Ctr. playground

This month the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) began preparations for the American University Kreeger Hall area anomaly investigation that is scheduled for January 2012. The Anomaly Review Board (ARB), which consists of USACE and the regulatory partners, identified 18 anomalies and four anomalous areas to be investigated. USACE worked with AU to schedule the anomaly investigations during AU’s winter break to minimize potential disruptions to campus life.
Spring Valley Project Update
December 2011
Anomalies between Kreeger, Watkins & Hamilton Bldgs.

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.
Anomalous area under road 80 ft. west of Watkins Building
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