Mar 16, 2013

Congresswoman Norton Says Corps May Be Violating Executive Order

The Office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today released Norton’s letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Shawn Garvin in support of a petition urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to temporarily relocate a family in the Spring Valley neighborhood of Northwest D.C. because they have young children, ages one and five, living directly across the street from a property where the Army Corps has demolished a home and is beginning to excavate for potentially hazardous substances.  Excavation is necessary because of a 2011 Army Corps remediation investigation report that indicated that chemical weapons-related debris are likely buried under the house at 4825 Glenbrook Road. 

In her letter, Norton expressed her disappointment in the Army Corps’ rejection of the family’s request, and subsequent appeal, for relocation during the excavation, and in the Army Corps’ explanation that it could not differentiate between very young children and adults living in the affected area.  “For the reasons stated in the petition, I found this conclusion to be uninformed and inconsistent with widely available scientific data,” wrote Norton ... Norton also wrote that the Army Corps may be in violation of an executive order that requires all federal agencies to “make it a high priority to identify and assess environmental health risks and safety risks that may disproportionately affect children.”

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