Feb 22, 2012

Army Corps' Evolving Assessment of Pit's Likely Location Roils RAB

On the university campus, investigations will continue next month during students’ spring break, according to [project manager Dan] Noble. Cleanup crews will be looking at four spots on the Kreeger Hall roadway and parking lot ... The university-owned property at 4825 Glenbrook Road remains a topic of scrutiny. Noble said the Army Corps remains confident the property was a major burial pit for jars of mustard agent and other war debris, based on a 1918 photograph of a Sgt. Maurer along with aerial photographs from the same year. But Allen Hengst, a longtime critic of the cleanup effort who works at the university, said his own studies show that the “Sgt. Maurer Pit” is more likely across from the university’s Watkins Building.
Northwest Current
February 22, 2012 (pg. 7)

Investigative trench in Kreeger Roadway on AU campus (USACE)
USACE feels that the geo-referenced locations of the three possible burial pits, as outlined in the 2000 EPIC report, may have suffered from splicing errors ... The December 2000 EPIC report conclusion that "Site 3' is the most likely location for POI 24 is no longer considered the best assessment for the location of POI 24 ... USACE is not denying that the EPIC report identified ‘Site 3’ as situated on the AU campus, but based on further analysis of geo-referencing discrepancies, USACE believes that there is doubt regarding the EPIC report’s 2000 conclusions.

... [Project Manager Dan] Noble confirmed that part of the area containing the possible pit locations outlined in the December 2000 EPA EPIC Terrestrial Photogrammetry Report is currently under investigation as part of the 2.5-acre AU Kreeger Hall area anomaly investigation. A total of 4 trenches will be dug in March 2012, with the goal of investigating large anomalous areas identified during geophysical data review. This effort will provide further evidence as to whether another disposal pit is present. As mentioned at the January 2012 RAB meeting, these trenches are located very close to, if not co-located with, T. Slonecker’s estimated burial pit locations.
RAB Meeting Minutes
February 14, 2012 (pgs. 10 -14)

Background: The EPA Environmental Photographic Interpretation Center (EPIC) reviewed several historical aerial photographs of the Spring Valley area. The USACE and regulatory partners at EPA and D.C. Health (now DDOE) reviewed the results of EPIC's work, and based on this information, decided to investigate the property adjacent to a property where two burial pits were removed between March 1999 and March 2000.
4825 Glenbrook Road News
USACE Web Site

Feb 12, 2012

Trench Digging in Four Anomalous Areas Near Kreeger Set for March

We’re looking for buried metallic objects we call anomalies,” said Clem Gaines, public affairs specialist at the Army Corps of Engineers in Baltimore. The Army Corps used metal detectors to find burial sites where the Army discarded materials used when AU was an “experimental station,” Gaines said ... The Army Corps still needs to dig under the Kreeger parking lot in four different locations. The Army Corps is waiting until spring break to continue digging, Gaines said.
Ryan Migeed
The Eagle
February 7, 2012 (pg. 8)

In January, field teams intrusively investigated 18 single-point anomalies in the American University (AU) Kreeger Hall area. No WWI-related items were recovered. All the anomalies were classified as cultural debris, such as scrap metal and construction debris. Trench digging within the 4 anomalous areas in the paved area near Kreeger Hall is tentatively scheduled for March 2012. Because this effort will require removal of small portions of the Kreeger Hall parking lot, the investigation is scheduled during AU’s Spring break to minimize potential disruptions to campus life.
Spring Valley FUDS Project Summary
January 2012
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