Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Saturday, November 17, 2018

Removal of chemical munition on AU property continuing this month

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers resumed work on Dec. 1 to clean up and remove possible chemical munition on AU’s property, according to a memo released by President Kerwin’s Chief of Staff David Taylor.

The work is being done near the southwest corner of campus by Watkins Building and the edge of Jacobs Field at the University-owned property 4825 Glenbrook Road. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has previously unearthed World War I chemical munitions in this area while cleaning arsenic from soil over the last 20 years, The Eagle previously reported.

“This new phase of the project entails the exploration of an area where World War I era munitions were previously discovered,” Taylor said in the memo. “Tests conducted on munitions removed from this site indicate the possible presence of chemical agents.”

The cleanup will take place between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday within a containment structure with filtration units to protect the University against any potential leaks, according to Taylor’s memo.

Students and members of the AU community should not be at risk of exposure to chemicals during this process. The University has an alert system with sirens, strobe lights and an automated telephone and email notification system to notify the community if any unsafe conditions arises during the cleanup.

“Given the nature of these materials, the Army Corps has implemented extensive safety precautions including a containment structure and filtration units around the excavation area to prevent the release of harmful chemicals into the environment in unlikely case of an accident, and monitors to detect any unusual airborne agent,” Taylor said in the memo.

Cleanup at 4825 Glenbrook Road was extended to 2017 during the summer, after weather conditions caused delays, The Eagle previously reported.

“[The] University’s response will continue to be based on ensuring the maximum level of safety for AU’s faculty, students, staff and visitors,” Taylor said in the memo.


shogan@theeagleonline.com


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