Sep 20, 2013

High Probability Dig Resumes after Clearing 3½-Year CERCLA Hurdle

A crucial and potentially risky step in the cleanup of a former chemical weapons dumping site near American University begins Monday.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says there is "high probability" they will discover more debris at the former American University Experiment Station, where the Army tested chemical weapons during World War I ...Previous digging and research indicates the likely presence of mustard gas and lewisite -- an arsenic-containing blister agent -- under the former home.  
"The reason we decided to remove the house is we did see scattered debris around the property and we do have some concerns that there may be additional debris underneath the foundation and the floor of the home," says [project manager] Brenda Barber ... With near-real-time air monitoring for chemical agents and industrial compounds, Barber says preparations have been made to ensure the neighborhood is safe.  "If there is a release under the engineering control structure it will be confined to the treatment system, and there will be no release to the public" says Barber.
Neal Augenstein
September 20, 2013  

For more than 20 years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been conducting clean-up operations to remove World War I materiel discovered at various locations on or near the American University main campus and throughout the Spring Valley neighborhood ... On September 23, 2013, the Army Corps is scheduled to resume excavation activities along Glenbrook Road, which parallels the southern border of AU’s campus, as designated on the attached map.  The Army Corps has conducted work on that site (4825 Glenbrook Road) for the past 10 years ...
The area of primary focus for the dedicated safety measures on the AU campus is the southwest corner of campus including the Watkins Building and the edge of the Jacobs Field.  The Army Corps has deployed an emergency notification system, which includes sirens, strobe lights, and an automated telephone/email notification system.   This system will be tested on a monthly basis, on the first Wednesday of each month at 4:05 p.m.
David Taylor, President’s Chief of Staff

Army Corps of Engineers Resumption of Activities
September 18, 2013

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