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Updated:
May 18, 2010

Army Corps of Engineers Project Updates

As a result of U.S. Army operations in Northwest Washington during World War I and the discovery of materials left over from their research and testing, the American University campus has been one of many sites targeted for environmental testing by the Army Corps of Engineers. With assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency and the D.C. Department of Health, the Army Corps has been sampling and testing soil throughout the Spring Valley area.

The University's primary concern throughout this process has been the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and other members of the AU community. We are providing this web site as a reliable, up-to-date source for information about the Army Corps of Engineers Project as it affects AU. This web page is designed to answer questions, give useful information about the Army Corps Project, and post memos routinely sent to the campus community.

During the sampling and testing of the soil on campus, a few areas were found to contain higher-than-normal levels of arsenic. Campus activities in those areas were re-located until the Army Corps removes and replaces the affected soil, which is an operation now underway. The Child Development Center (CDC) is temporarily located at Leonard Hall and the intramural fields are closed until the Army Corps completes its work. However, given the sampling results from the Army Corps, tests on persons routinely frequenting the areas, and an assessment provided by our environmental health consultant, Dr. Paul Chrostowski, there are no signs that anyone on campus has been or would be affected by exposure to arsenic in the soil.

Some have asked whether the Army Corps' project has affected the water supply. AU uses municipal water, as does the surrounding community. According to DC officials, the municipal water meets EPA's drinking water standards. The Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) publishes an annual drinking water quality report, as required by EPA. You may access the report at www.dcwasa.com.

To ensure that students and staff are fully and regularly informed about the Army Corps Project on campus, AU President Cornelius Kerwin has assigned senior members of the University staff to monitor the Army Corps activity and communicate findings and progress to the AU community.


What's New?

Here's the latest information regarding the Army Corps activities in this section.

  • May 18, 2010 Today@AU message regarding Army Corps activity at the Public Safety Building
  • April 14, 2010 mention in President Kerwin's spring semester update to campus
  • February 5, 2010 mention in President Kerwin's mid-winter update to campus
  • February 2, 2010 memo from Spring Valley project manager Daniel Noble re. items work at 4825 Glenbrook
  • December 4, 2009 mention in President Kerwin's end of semester campus update
  • October 21, 2009 mention in President Kerwin's mid-fall update to campus
  • September 11, 2009 campus memo from Jorge Abud and David Taylor describing Army Corps work at the Nebraska Avenue parking lot and areas close to the soccer field and radio tower
  • August 12, 2009 campus memo from Jorge Abud and David Taylor describing Army Corps work at 4825 Glenbrook Road
  • July 23, 2009 mention in President Kerwin's summer update to campus
  • June 10, 2009 President Kerwin's testimony at a Congressional hearing on the Army Corps project
  • April 10, 2009 mention in President Kerwin's spring update to campus
  • December 19, 2008 mention in President Kerwin's end-of-semester update
  • September 4, 2008 mention in President Kerwin's fall semester memo to campus
  • July 14, 2008 campus memo from Jorge Abud and David Taylor describing Army Corps work scheduled for July
  • July 14, 2008 campus memo from Jorge Abud and David Taylor to Hughes/McDowell residents re. Army Corps work
  • June 13, 2008 Army Corps Summer Update


Archives



Additional

These presentation materials, instructions, and informational flyer for visitors were developed to provide information regarding the Army Corps work along Glenbrook Road, beginning October 29, 2007.

In addition to these memos and fact sheets, articles about the Corps of Engineers project have appeared in the American Weekly on November 28, 2000, January 16, 2001, January 30, 2001, February 6, 2001, and March 6, 2001.


University officials have also held meetings with several interested groups in the campus community to provide updates about the Army Corps of Engineers Project. Click here for a list of those meetings.



Contact Information

Information Lines

  • American University Information Line: 202-885-2020
  • The D.C. Department of Health Information Line: 202-535-1755
  • The Army Corps of Engineers (COE) Spring Valley Information Line: 1-800-434-0988

Websites

Information Repositories

  • Palisades Library at 4901 V Street NW, or contact the library at 202-282-3139.
  • Army Corps of Engineers trailer behind Sibley Memorial Hospital. Please call ahead to make an appointment. The office number is 202-686-3359.

 

 
 

We would like your input on this web page. If you have suggestions for additions or improvements to this page,
please call the Information Line at 202-885-2020.

 

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