2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 3 May 2002 18:16:49 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Congressional Letter of Appeal
[POSTED BY SARAH SHAPLEY (springvalleydc@starpower.net)]

Hello Neighbors,

Here is the letter of appeal to congress from the residential members of 
the SV Restoration Advisory Board.  This campaign message is in two 
parts, this with the letter itself and next with the list congressional 
contacts.  I encourage each and everyone of you to
circulate this campaign message to your friends and acquaintance and to 
use the letter to add your voice to the campaign. Add your own cover 
note!  I also encourage you and them to contact us at this e-mail 
address to inform us of your individual communications.  It would help 
us keep track.  Please encourage others to contact us at this e-mail 
address to extend our network of neighborhood coverage by e-mail.  I 
will keep you informed of political response and progress.

     - SSShapley
 DATE:  April 2002
I write as the elected Community Co-chair of the Spring Valley
Restoration Advisory Board on behalf of its fourteen residential members 
to urge you to increase and earmark the FY03 appropriation for the 
clean-up of this Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) by the Army Corps of 
Engineers and also to mandate a similar level-of-effort funding for the 
next three years so as to enable the clean-up to be completed in FY06.

The site, which the U.S. Army leased from the American University in
World War I, was known as the American University Experimental Station
(AUES) and was used to develop and test chemical warfare material and
ordnance.  It has the dubious distinction of being a ìdouble dangerî
FUDS, as it has both chemical and ordnance contamination.
The four-year period is the best feasible time-limit achievable on
engineering and logistical grounds in this residential community of
almost 1200 homes in our nationís capital.  The residents have been
counting the calendar of adverse impact for ten years just to get to
this point.  (See ìBackgroundî page below.)  A congressional earmark of 
a four-year mandatory level-of-effort funding would ensure completion 
after a decade of dereliction, delay and uncertainty.
Our requested mandate for an earmarked level-of-effort funding
sufficient to completion in four years is based on the most recent Army 
estimate of costs.  The total cost-to-complete is $53,765M.  Thus, the 
mandated level-of-effort required for FY03 - FY06 is $13,441.25M 
annually.  Details of this estimate, important for accountability, are 
given below.
The total cost-to-complete is $53,765M, of which $36,460M is for 
unit-costed remediation and restoration (R&R) plus unit-costed munitions
detection and restoration, and $17,305M is for associated, regular 
in-house support.  The ratio of these components is, thus, 68% to 32%.
Pro-rated for four years, the annual level needed is $13,441.25M.  The
Arsenic soil R&R estimate ($19,460M) is derived as follows.  A property 
with Arsenic levels above 20ppm in the soil as has been determined by 
the follow-up grid sampling will be remediated.  Each grid, a 20x20ft. 
square, will cost $20K for both remediation and restoration.  The 161 
properties with such levels comprise 973 grids, making for a total R&R 
cost of $19,460M.  The munitions estimate ($17,000M) is based on a 
multi-point review and prioritization scheme and allows for coverage of 
200 properties (geophysical survey, intrusive investigation of 
anomalies, and restoration).
We believe the Spring Valley FUDS merits your special attention and a
mandated level-of-effort funding for several reasons -- besides that of 
the excessively prolonged time-line.  Spring Valley is the first FUDS to 
have all these special characteristics which means that this project is 
a test and model for the governmentís ability to address any other 
comparable site in future.  First, it is a closely settled residential 
neighborhood with extensive and mature landscaping in a major American 
city.  Second, it is large site for an urban environment and one which 
has been drastically topographically changed in its establishment as a 
residential neighborhood.  Third, it is a site with both chemical 
contamination of an environmental medium (soil) and also chemical 
warfare munitions and ordnance explosives contamination.  Fourth, it is 
a site organized for survey and remediation by homeowner property, with 
all properties, each and every one, subjected to testing, another first 
in the FUDS program.  Fifth, the field testing for ordnance will use the 
most recently developed methods of geophysical detection and 
containment-cum-removal, another test and model for the government. 
Sixth, it is ranked Level One in terms of DODís Relative Risk Evaluation 
scheme.  In sum, we believe the government will benefit on both 
technical and managerial grounds if it meets this challenge in a 
positive, citizen-friendly way.
Finally, we call your attention the national context of need for
serious budgetary support for Defense-related environmental
restoration.  We have undertaken to communicate with many other FUDSí
boards across the nation in this cause, which is shared by constituents 
in every state.  (See ìNational Contextî page below.)  And, in closing, 
we would like to emphasize the productive working relationship that has 
been struck between the three government partners (the Corps with DCís 
Department of Health and US EPAís Region III) and also between the 
Restoration Advisory Board and the government partners.  We maintain 
close liaison, too, with the Mayorís Science Advisory Panel.  We are 
pleased to have had the opportunity to participate in DODís Senior 
Executive Review Group.  And above all, we are pleased that our own 
Delegate Norton has been successful in urging the Army to re-program 
some FY02 funds to cover unanticipated costs in the clean-up of a major 
munitions burial pit.  This means the project is not entering FY03 in a 
deficit position with respect to its plans for investigation and 
remediation.  It means that, with Congressional help, FY03 - FY06 could 
see the end of this decade-old clean-up and the restoration of Spring 
Valley to its deserved environmental health in our nationís capital.
We thank you for your consideration and look forward to meeting with
you or your staff about our request for additional funding to accomplish 
the Spring Valley clean-up in the next four years.  Please do not 
hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have in consideration 
of this request.
  Sarah Stowell Shapley
  Community Co-chair, Spring Valley Restoration Advisory Board
 4710 Upton Street, NW
 Washington, DC  20016-2370
 Tel:  202-237-7530
 E-Mail:  <SpringValleyDC@starpower.net
    The Spring Valley Restoration Advisory Board is the mechanism
authorized for local feedback as a sounding-board of community
stakeholders for the Defense Departmentís ìFormerly Used Defense Sitesî 
under their Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP).  The 
Department of Defense has designated the Department of the Army as the 
executive agent for the FUDS program, and the Army Corps of Engineers is 
the program executor.  Spring Valley (project code #C03DC0918) falls 
within the Baltimore District of the North Atlantic Division of the 
  Spring Valley requires clean-up in two categories of DOD program
elements:  HTRW (Hazardous, Toxic and Radioactive Waste) and MEC
(Munitions and Explosives of Concern).  Under an earlier attempt in
1993-1995 (project code #C03DC091801) the Army addressed some
contamination and then declared a ìNo Further Actionî decision.  This
was demonstrated as wrong by local efforts, the decision effectively
reversed, and a second, limited round of testing and remediation
undertaken in 1998 - 1999.  A  third round (project codes
#C03DC091802-03), comprising 61 properties nearby, was started in
January 2000.  In February 2001, mindful of public demand, the Army
initiated the present project (project codes #C03DC091804-05)
encompassing the full 591 acres outside American University and all of
the approximately 1200 residential properties.
  The Army operates the project in conjunction with two governmental
ìpartnersî, the DC Department of Health and the US Environmental
Protection Agency, Region III.
  The current status is:  Arsenic soil testing has been completed on the 
residential properties; 12% warranted follow-up testing due to their 
having some above natural background levels; of these, 161 properties 
require remediation and restoration; 7 properties, due to exceptionally 
elevated Arsenic levels, are slated for FY02 Time Critical Removal 
Action (TCRA) of contaminated soil; and the two-instrument, advanced 
geophysical field testing for chemical warfare munitions and munitions 
debris is to begin this summer.  Remediation will be undertaken on an 
integrated basis, combining Arsenic and munitions data for each 
  While our basic request is for additional earmarked funds for Spring
Valley, we are concerned that the Congress and the Department of Defense 
acknowledge the greater need for funding in the whole area of
military-related environmental restoration than is evident in the DODís 
current request in the Presidentís Budget for FY03 and recent yearsí DOD 
requests and congressional appropriations.  We refer you to the GAO 
report of 2001, ìClean-up at Formerly Used Defense Sitesî (GAO-01-557). 
There are two unhappy aspects to the national picture:  many No Further 
Action decisions hav e been reversed by dint of state or local actions; 
and it is difficult to count the actual length of time it has taken or 
is taking to accomplish actual clean-up for whole sites.  It may be that 
Spring Valley is not so unusual in these respects.
  It is also difficult to aggregate sites by Relative Risk Evaluation in 
order to gauge proportions of priority on a national basis.  DOD in its 
FY03 Presidentís Budget for ìEnvironmental Programsî (p.118 ff.) gives 
the current number of ìhighî risk FUDS as 373, of which 126 have been 
ìremovedî as of February 2002.  It claims to have added funds ($20M) 
over previous years in its current budget projections, although it is 
difficult to see if this represents a true net increase given the other 
programmatic reductions itemized.  It is also unclear if the increase is 
due to pricing increases or activity increases.  We understand that the 
Corps of Engineers has estimated it has some $700M worth of projects on 
its current national agenda and an effective ceiling on its budget of 
$200M.  The scope of the national need is estimated by the Pentagon as 
2,800 properties requiring clean-up with a cost-to-complete of $12B, of 
which two-thirds is for munitions and one-third for chemical 
contamination.  These numbers and problems of prioritization only 
reinforce our sense of urgency that Spring Valleyís double-danger FUDS 
get done so the lessons learned can be applied elsewhere.

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