On Tuesday, March 13, the Army Corps of Engineers will excavate the Small Disposal Area behind Kreeger and Hamilton Halls. No relocation of faculty, staff, or students will be necessary for this activity.
The initial excavation of that area took place on January 8-11, 2001 and confirmation soil samples were taken to ensure that all of the affected soils had been removed. Because the samples indicated elevated levels of arsenic, lead and mercury, the Corps is returning to excavate an additional two feet of soil.
The excavation preparation will begin Saturday, March 10 and will conclude Monday, March 12. A water storage tank, about the size of a semi-trailer truck, will be used to hold water diverted from a small stream running through this area during the March 13 excavation. The removed soil will be placed in metal containers for eventual hauling away by a large semi-trailer truck.
The soil to be removed does not pose any risk to people in the area. When the excavation is finished, the Corps will take confirmation samples to ensure that all affected soils have been removed. They will dig additional soil or will begin to backfill with clean soil when the samples are below the risk-based levels set by EPA for arsenic, lead, and mercury. You may recall from earlier reports, that the Army Corps has tentatively projected that the elevated sample readings are related to the burial of an old automobile battery.
When the excavation is finished, the Corps will sample the diverted stream water in the storage tank and, based on the results, will either discharge the water into the sewer system or pump it into a truck and haul it away for treatment. The following week, the Corps will excavate stream sediments behind Hamilton and Kreeger and adjacent to the Rockwood properties off-campus. They will use the roadway behind Kreeger Hall for access to the area.
If you have questions about the Army Corps of Engineers Project, please call the AU Information Line at 202-885-2020, or refer to the website. You can access the website at www.american.edu/usace.