Army Corps of Engineers to demolish Spring Valley home
In less than 24 hours, a D.C. neighborhood could learn if the long-awaited cleanup of munitions and other materials at a home will happen after years of indecision.
The military weapons have been a hot button issue for residents living in and around Glen Brook Road in the Spring Valley neighborhood.
Beyond the locked fence at 4825 Glenbrook Road looks like house under renovation, even a construction site.
Former Spring Valley resident Tom Coleman said, "It's a concern for anybody who's heard about it."
In fact, the Glenbrook Road home is toxic and the focus of investigations by the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA.
"They've recovered more than a thousand munitions, primarily 75 millimeter rounds. Some containing mustard agent. This is not stuff you want in your backyard," said Environmental Activist Ken Slowinski.
The buried weapons date back from WWI. They were uncovered by a work crew in 1993.
After years of debate and lawsuits, the Army Corps of Engineers will the demolish the house next month.
Mary Lynn Field-Nguer, an Arlington resident, said, "I would not want to be living on top of toxic chemicals myself.
Field-Nguer drives by the home almost daily. The notion that a chemical weapons pit could be located in the quiet neighborhood has her concerned.
" I think it's too bad that someone didn't know it before they built on the land. I think it's worth the effort to make the environment safe," Field-Nguer added.
Published reports say the government has tested more than 1,600 properties for arsenic. Ground water tests to detect chemicals will begin this week.
The Army has removed over 100 tons of contaminated soil
But, Slowinski counters, "It's not a thorough cleanup."
He fears more undiscovered munitions disposal pits are in the home's backyard or even on the American University campus.
While no specific date has been given for the demolition, the Army Corps of Engineers will hold a public meeting July 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church.
Slowinski and others hope to persuade the Army and EPA to expand the cleanup.
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