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4825 Glenbrook Road Weekly Update, May 22

This week our crews continued the high probability excavation efforts in what once was the back patio area. Working carefully inside the engineering control structure, they continued with breaking up the thick concrete pad and footer, and placing the concrete rubble into drums (see photo). No munition debris or glassware was recovered this week, and there were no detections of chemical agents or industrial compounds in the air monitors.

This effort continues to remain on schedule in spite of the increased heat and humidity over the past couple of weeks. Our high probability dig teams working inside the containment structure have been impacted by these conditions, causing them to take breaks every 15 minutes. Last summer we experienced a similar challenge, and the teams started work earlier in the morning to take advantage of the cooler temperatures. Safety continues to be our number one priority, and we want to stay on schedule as we safely complete our work at Glenbrook Road. 

We have consulted with residents on Glenbrook Road nearest to our project site, addressed concerns about potential noise in the morning, and received acknowledgement that their participation in the shelter-in-place program will start at 6:30 a.m. and last thru 2 p.m.  These summer hours could potentially impact anyone walking or driving by during an unlikely emergency at the site. Throughout every phase of the project, all necessary precautions are taken to ensure the safety of the site workers, the residents of the community, and those driving by. We appreciate the community's continued support. 

In order to stay on track, we will start work in the tent at 6:30 a.m. and finish by 2 p.m., Monday - Friday starting after the Memorial Day holiday next week, on Tuesday, May 26. We will not have roll off trucks on the road in the early morning hours. 

It is worth repeating: Safety continues to be our number one priority at the site.

Click here to read the May 15 update.

 

Project Overview

The project site is a residential property located at 4825 Glenbrook Road N.W. within the Spring Valley Formerly Used Defense Site in Northwest Washington, D.C. During the World War I era, the property was part of a larger area known as the American University Experiment Station (AUES), where the U.S. government researched and tested chemical agents, equipment and munitions. AUES related waste, including more than 500 munition items, 400 pounds of laboratory glassware and 100 tons of contaminated soil, have been recovered and safely removed from the property during investigations from 2000-2002 and then again from 2007-2010. In August 2010, several agencies within the Department of Defense as well as the regulatory partners, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and District Department of the Environment, made the decision to separate the 4825 Glenbrook Road property from the Spring Valley neighborhood site to expedite the cleanup process.

After thorough reviews and a public comment period, the Corps of Engineers, with concurrence from the partners and American University (property owner), selected the alternative to remove the house, cleanup, and restore the property to residential standards, providing for unrestricted future use of the property. This approach is the most effective and protective of human health and the environment. 

Cleanup Implementation

Crews removed the house (Nov. 29 - 30, 2012) systematically from top to bottom using an excavator. After the demolition, crews began preparing the site for the high probability operations. Historical and field data indicate the high probability areas of the property have a greater likelihood of containing AUES debris and/or glassware items.

Site preparation included low probability test pitting in several areas in the backyard, utility relocation, general site preparations, and installation of the engineering controls needed to safely perform the high probability work. The engineering controls include an Engineering Control Structure (a 60’x80’x27’ tent) that fully encloses the high probability excavation areas,a chemical agent filtration system that will filter the air leaving the control structure, and a continuous air monitoring system. All of the materials removed during the high probability phase will be safely disposed.

Additionally, the Corps of Engineers has developed a Shelter-in-Place program as an added layer of protection to the public.  

High probability operations began Sept. 23, 2013 and will wrap-up in winter 2016/2017, depending on the types and amounts of debris encountered.  The goal is to completely remove any remaining AUES debris and restore the property to residential standards by summer 2017.

Learn more about the work through a video tour of the site:  http://youtu.be/yVws5UnBuZw.  You also can see the actual excavation work in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK0LzWtzum8

 

 

Information Repository

The Information Repository is located at the Tenley-Friendship Branch Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C.

Hard copies and digital records of key project documents can be found upstairs in the Reference Section.  The document collection includes a variety of materials created since the start of the project, 20 years ago. Check with the reference librarian to direct you to our shelves of materials.

Also, on your next visit to the library, ask at the Reference Desk for the Spring Valley FUDS large binder, which has a table of contents and almost a hundred disks that contain years of digital records available for research and review. These disks must be checked out from the librarian and are only available for use on the library’s public computers during your visit.  If there is a piece of information you cannot locate in the library, please contact the Community Outreach Team at 410-962-0157.

Additional archived documents not found in the library or here on the Web site, can be found at http://springvalley.ertcorp.com.

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Contact Information

Baltimore District Corporate Communication
410-962-2809
cenab-cc@usace.army.mil