September 4, 2003
|FROM:||Benjamin Ladner, President|
|SUBJECT:||Army Corps of Engineers Activity|
This memo is another in the series of regular updates I have been providing on the activities of the Army Corps of Engineers on our campus. During the summer (and in spite of the heavy rains), the Army’s work on the intramural fields and the adjacent Child Development Center neared completion. We are currently reviewing their work to ensure that it meets the required specifications for soil removal and replacement and that the university’s use of those properties can resume as soon as possible. Our environmental science expert, Dr. Paul Chrostowski, continues to examine the Army Corps’ findings and assess their work.
A next phase of Army Corps activity is on land adjacent to the campus, along Woodway Lane and Rockwood Parkway. Work will continue at these sites during the 2003-2004 academic year. The campus border that adjoins the residences along Rockwood Parkway, which was explored earlier this year, is scheduled for a more extensive excavation beginning at the end of 2003 and into 2004. While removing ordnance scrap, glassware, and residential trash in this vicinity (known as lot #18), the Army decided to expand the scope of its operation there after finding a small, sealed glass container with a tablespoon of liquid that contained traces of the chemical agent Lewisite (0.3 percent). Their report indicated that there was no danger (“. . . .under worst case conditions, had the materiel been released, there would be no effect on anyone beyond a distance of one meter.”). No health or safety incidents were reported. The Army Corps will employ stringent safety measures for the next stage of the remediation of this area.
We will keep the AU community informed when plans are known and timetables established for this next phase of Army Corps activity and any other operations as they affect the campus. Postings about the Army’s Spring Valley project are on our web-site, at http://american.edu/usace/. We also have an information line dedicated to the project, 202-885-2020, should you have questions.