Jorge Abud, Assistant Vice President of Facilities
Army Corps of Engineers Activity
In the February 6 memo to campus from Interim President Kerwin, he mentioned that the Army Corps of Engineers continues to move toward concluding their work on “Lot 18” on the AU campus. They have concluded their “high probability work” and will be de-mobilizing their equipment (vapor containment structure and generators) from the site. The Army Corps plans to conclude their work in March 2006.
The Army Corps has informed us that during the final stages of their excavation work, in January, the Corps found six intact bottles dating from the days of the U.S. Army experiment station. Analysis of the contents revealed that two of the bottles contained small amounts of breakdown products from the World War I era. The recovery, identification, and transport of the sealed containers posed no dangers to the site workers or the public. Lot 18 has been operating with strict engineering controls and highly trained personnel using rigorous safety measures. The Army Corps has prepared a news release to convey their findings, which is accessible via the Army Corps Spring Valley website.
In addition, the Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, and the D.C. Department of Health released information about recent groundwater tests conducted in Spring Valley. These tests and their related findings do not affect the drinking water at American University or the surrounding neighborhood, which comes from a different source – the Potomac River. The area’s drinking water is processed by the Washington Aqueduct, which regularly tests samples from its Dalecarlia Reservoir and the finished drinking water. The Army Corps groundwater findings indicate that slightly elevated levels of perchlorate were found in three wells, off campus, two of which were in the 4800 block of Glenbrook Road. They will continue to work with their partners at D.C. Health and the EPA on further validation and review. A release about these groundwater findings is also posted on the Army Corps Spring Valley website.
If you have questions, please call the information line dedicated to the Army Corps activity, (202) 885-2020.