Current Campaigns

Map showing study area of the Anacostia River Sediment Project. 
Specific locations (in orange) are also identified for past and ongoing efforts.
Provided by Tetra Tech in Remedial Investigation Work Plan. (Click image to enlarge)


Estuary-wide Toxics Investigation

In spring 2013 the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) announced its decision to investigate the contamination in the sediments (mud at the bottom of a river) of the entire tidal stretch of the Anacostia River (project boundary outlined in red in map above) called the Anacostia River Sediment Project. (For an overview on the issue of toxics pollution and the announcement of this long overdue initiative, check out this blog post.) We’ve been heavily engaged in this process, providing comments on draft planning documents, hosting a community meeting in February 2014, informing residents and others interested in the project at community meetings, and advocating for the cleanup of toxics at all opportunities. To help ensure that this important project moves forward as quickly as possible, AWS and others in the United for a Healthy Anacostia River coalition will continue to work with District officials and advocate for restoration of the river.

Legacy Toxic Sites Along River
Site-specific Progress

(From North to South. See map above for these locations.)

Kenilworth Park. This former city dump site should have been properly cleaned up ages ago. It has been only recently that authorities are getting serious about cleaning up contaminated areas. NPS initially committed to completing a feasibility study in Summer 2011 selecting a cleanup plan in Fall 2011. After releasing the Proposed Plan for cleanup actions in winter of 2013 and receiving comments on the plan, NPS decided to conduct more groundwater testing before selecting a remedy. Groundwater testing was completed in early 2014 and we continue to wait and press NPS for the results, which will be used to help inform remedy selection or any further investigative needs.

Pepco Benning Road. In December 2011 a court entered a consent decree for the cleanup of the Pepco Benning Road site. Historic spills of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at the site prompted this process. AWS is working with the community through the cleanup process to ensure that the health of citizens and the river is protected by Pepco’s remedial activity.

CSX Benning Road rail yard. Since 2005, there have been spills and discharges of petroleum products at the CSX Benning Road railroad yard that violate the District’s Water Pollution Control Act. In February 2011, DC and CSX signed a Consent Decree that requires CSX to invest in cleanup activities. The Consent Decree was released for a 30-day public comment period. Our concerns for this agreement were: the lack of a robust public engagement process, the lack of a concrete timeline under which CSX must complete obligations, and the uncertainty that this process would result in a thorough assessment and remediation of the site. Since then, CSX has completed the investigation for the landside and a corrective action plan (CAP) for cleaning up contaminated soil and groundwater was approved by DOEE in April 2013. The investigation for the waterside of Fort Dupont Creek and the Anacostia River were finished in 2011. This information is currently being reviewed by DOEE and CSX.

Washington Gas. This site was formerly used to manufacture gas and operations resulted in contamination of the land and nearby Anacostia River. A draft consent decree for the cleanup of the Washington Gas site was issued in December 2011. In February 2012 AWS filed formal comments outlining numerous concerns with the content of the draft agreement. In September 2012 our 2011 suit was dropped after negotiating annual status reports and public meetings regarding those updates would be provided to the communities. The final consent decree was signed that same year. Cleanup of surface and subsurface soils was scheduled to begin early 2014, but issues caused delay. This phase of cleanup was completed in summer 2015. The plans for investigations into groundwater, surface water, and sediments will be released late 2015.

Washington Navy Yard and Southeast Federal Center. The Navy Yard is on the US Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). The Navy has spent a lot of money on cleanup, which is ongoing. The Southeast Federal Center site was formerly part of the Washington Navy Yard and is subject to a federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) cleanup order; The General Services Administration (GSA) has made significant progress to clean up contaminated areas.

Poplar Point. Environmental investigations conducted at this site in the past have shown that there are areas with high levels of some contaminants. The site is to be transferred from National Park Service (NPS) to the District of Columbia, and as part of that transfer DC must come up with a plan to clean up the site before NPS approves the transfer. As part of the 2008 Consent Decree, DC agreed to conduct the remedial investigation and feasibility study for the site with NPS oversight. This study was scheduled to start in 2012, but it has been delayed significantly. As of November 2015, we continue to put pressure on DC and NPS to move forward.


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