Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Washington Post Friday, May 30, 2008; Page B06 --- Spring Valley Weapons Search to Continue

Friday, May 30, 2008; Page B06


Spring Valley Weapons Search to Continue

The cleanup of World War I chemical weapons buried under the Spring Valley neighborhood of Northwest Washington could last three more years, as crews search for more shells and remove tainted soil, officials said yesterday.

The Spring Valley cleanup began in 1993, after a construction crew uncovered buried shells from a former testing ground for chemical weapons near American University.

More weapons and chemically tainted materials have been found since 2001, both on university grounds and around neighboring homes. Yesterday, at a briefing about the cleanup at the downtown offices of Friends of the Earth, an Army Corps of Engineers official said that arsenic contamination remains to be cleaned up at 50 properties in the area.

He said authorities are also trying to determine whether more munitions are buried near a house on Glenbrook Road NW or in woods near the Dalecarlia Reservoir. Officials are testing groundwater in the area for traces of chemical weapons and perchlorate, which was used in smoke-screen shells.

-- David A. Fahrenthold


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