This week, the Army Corps of Engineers will begin removing soil from the area next to the Child Development Center (CDC) and will continue toward the intramural (IM) fields. As with previous soil removal operations, the area will be fenced in.
The Corps will excavate the soil to a depth of two feet and perform confirmation testing to ensure that no elevated levels of arsenic remain. The Corps will remove all soil above the cleanup standard of 20 parts per million (ppm). Excavated soil will be removed from the area in covered trucks and the area will be filled with clean soil. Dust control measures will be used (such as wetting the soil) as well as air monitors to check air quality.
As reported in the May 15, 2002 campus update, some metal items were detected in the ground during the Army Corps’ geophysical survey. The geophysical equipment detects any metal item but cannot identify the item beyond indicating its presence. The Corps will have ordnance experts on hand to identify metal items during the soil removal. Should a metal item be identified as ordnance, the Corps will place a secure metal structure over the area during removal as an added safety measure. All ordnance will be placed in a secure container and transported to storage away from campus, where the Corps will evaluate and dispose of it. The Corps assures us that special care will be taken to assure that members of the campus community are fully protected.
This project is expected to last several months. We will inform the campus community when we have a more definite schedule of the completion of the work. The University will continue to work with the Corps to ensure that work on our campus is completed as thoroughly and as quickly as possible. If you have questions regarding the Army Corps of Engineers project at AU, please call the information line at (202) 885-2020. You may review information about the project on the web site at www.american.edu/usace.