Norton and Morella
Advocate Chemical Search
Del. Eleanor Holmes
Norton (D-D.C.) and Rep. Constance A. Morella (R-MD) requested that the
General Accounting Office search Spring Valley for buried chemical munitions.
The congresswomen are concerned with chemical contamination because of
hazardous substances that were used in the Spring Valley Area during WWI.
Morella told the Washington Post that she wants the GAO to conduct, "the
complete and thorough investigation that Spring Valley has always needed
and deserved, but never received." Click here to read article at
Spring Valley is a
major concern to these members of congress, as are other sites in the
District of Columbia. Norton and Morella believe that, because the Army
and other federal agencies have not done enough in dealing with the Spring
Valley contamination, other sites must be surveyed as a preventive measure.
Other sites being investigated are the Washington Navy Yard, Catholic
University, the University of the District of Columbia, and Camp Simms.
The Washington Navy
yard was home to an industrial site where ships were maintained and guns
were constructed. The EPA ordered a federal cleanup of the Washington
Navy Yard, removing cancer-causing PCBs, lead and dioxins. Although there
has been a cleanup, employees are still concerned about the site's potential
health hazards. 4,000 employees will be moved from Crystal City to the
Navy Yard this year. The other locations being investigated were used
for various duties during WWI.
The Army's chemical
weapons were tested in Catholic University's satellite lab during WWI.
The Washington Post reported that Lewisite and ricin, two toxic chemical
warfare agents, were developed there. The National Bureau of Standards
and the Department of Defense housed a fuse laboratory through 1973 on
the site of the University of the District of Columbia campus. Camp Simms
was used as a small-arms target range by the military and law enforcement
agencies until 1959.