US Army Corps of Engineers
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Weekly Update for June 11

Here is our project update for the week ending June 11th:

This week our crew focused on continuing the grading and shaping of the compacted backfill at the site.

On Monday, site operations included the utility contractor and our site team lowering one of the manholes to the correct level (see photos), as well as the ongoing effort to grade and shape the contours of the site.  For the rest of the week, the crew continued grading and shaping the backfill, as well as hauling all of the required topsoil to the site.

Next week: As weather allows, the crew will continue to grade and shape the compacted soil across the site, as well as measure and compare the compacted backfill elevations with the final restoration plan. They will also continue to spread eight inches of required topsoil across more of the completed areas. Early next week, a fence contractor is expected to begin and complete the reinstallation of the fence along the shared property line with 4801 Glenbrook Road.

We remain on schedule to complete the site's restoration in July.

Safety remains our number one priority. 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 walking and driving by.

Photo 1: Utility contractor begins excavating around a manhole to assist with repositioning

Photo 2: Current state of the site with the lowered manhole

Photo 3: Locating piles of topsoil after it is delivered to the site 

Click here for an archive of Glenbrook Road Weekly Updates

UPDATE: Final ATSDR 4825 Glenbrook Road Report Released

Final ATSDR Report Released: We wanted to share that the final Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) report "Health Consultation - An Exposure and Health Effects Evaluation of Former Workers and Residents to Chemical Contamination at 4825 Glenbrook Road within the Spring Valley Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) Washington, District of Columbia" was released August 26, 2016.  A summary of the public comments and ATSDR responses are in an appendix of the finalized document. For more information on the final report, including the report itself, you can visit their website at:

Background: In 2010, the Corps of Engineers asked ATSDR, a part of the US Department of Health and Human Service's Center for Disease Control (CDC), to develop the report, which evaluated past exposure scenarios at the 4825 Glenbrook Road property, specifically for two groups: construction and other workers who developed the property (1992-1993), and the family who lived at the residence from 1993 until 1999.

ATSDR released a draft of the report earlier this year, taking feedback from the public regarding their evaluation during a public comment period that ended on June 20, 2016.

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 were used to indicate the high probability areas of the property with 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 included an Engineering Control Structure (a 60’x80’x27’ tent) that fully enclosed the high probability excavation areas, a chemical agent filtration system that filtered the air leaving the control structure, and a continuous air monitoring system. All of the materials removed during the high probability phase were safely disposed.

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

High probability operations began Sept. 23, 2013 and concluded on May 26, 2016. Additional low probability operations will begin in early fall 2016. The goal is to completely remove any remaining AUES debris and restore the property to residential standards the end of 2019.

Learn more about the work through a video tour of the site: You also can see the actual excavation work in this video:



Crews continue scrapping and digging the soils and concrete in the former back porch area at 4825 Glenbrook Road.
Crews are scrapping and digging the soils and concrete in the former back porch area, as they progress down to grade
The fence contractor installed new grey screening panels along the fence on Glenbrook Road.
Crews measure the depth of the current excavation under the second tent location at 4825 Glenbrook Road.
Crews work on lagging and excavation in the east corner of the backyard at 4825 Glenbrook Road.
On February 10, 2015 crews safely recovered two open cavity, unfired, unfuzed, empty 4.7" projectiles (just one pictured here). Both items were non-detect for chemical agent and are being handled as munitions debris.
On February 11, 2015 the team safely recovered an unfuzed, unfired 75mm closed cavity item. The 75mm item contained some liquid, but there were no explosives. The final assessment indicated that the probable fill is water, not chemical warfare materiel.
Crews recovered a small amount of American University Experiment Station-related glass at 4825 Glenbrook Road on Feb. 3, 2015.
While conducting high probability work, crews safely recovered a 75mm munitions item 8 feet below the surface.
Property layout with Engineering Control Structure tent and support equipment in second location at 4825 Glenbrook Road.
Crews continue moving the Engineering Control Structure and anticipate removing the large crane from the site during the weekend of October 18.
The 4825 Glenbrook Road property is prepared for the move to the second tent location.
Crews safely recovered this intact glass container at 4825 Glenbrook Road during the week of March 31.
On Jan. 17, crews encountered a small intact American University Experiment Station-related glass bottle. The bottle contained a small amount of liquid.  During the recovery of this item, there were no detections of chemical agent or industrial compounds.
Crews continued work under the former front porch of the home at 4825 Glenbrook Road.
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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


Contact Information

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