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Members of the DDOE staff work under an agreement [PDF] with the US Department of Defense to provide technical review and guidance to military services for installation restoration projects at active military sites and formerly used defense sites in the District of Columbia. These sites include Spring Valley, a World War I munitions testing site in Northwest DC. Activities include technical review of work plans and reports, site visits, attendance at regular technical meetings, and participation in community outreach activities such as Restoration Advisory Board meetings.
Spring Valley - Washington, DC
This fact sheet is an overview of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s initial plans for public health evaluation of the Spring Valley community.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is a federal public health agency based in Atlanta, Georgia. Created by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (otherwise known as Superfund legislation), the mission of ATSDR is to serve the public by using the best science, taking responsive public health action, and providing trusted public health information to prevent harmful exposures and disease related to toxic substances. ATSDR works with local, state, and other federal agencies to protect the public’s health. Unlike the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ATSDR does not have the authority to order other agencies or organizations to accept and follow ATSDR recommendations.
ATSDR has provided technical assistance at Spring Valley since the late 1990's. In 2001, our public health assessment process was initiated by a petition request and requests for continuing assistance from the DC Department of Health.
An exposure investigation is one approach ATSDR uses to develop better characterization of past, current, and possible future human exposures to hazardous substances in the environment.
For the Spring Valley site, ATSDR will conduct biological testing of urine and hair from selected residents who are most at risk for arsenic exposure.
A Public Health Consultation provides advice on specific public health issues related to real or potential human exposure to hazardous substances. A Public Health Consultation is a way for ATSDR to respond quickly to a need for health information on toxic substances and to make recommendations for actions to protect the public’s health.
ATSDR staff members will evaluate available information about hazardous substances, ways people may have been exposed in the past or may be exposed currently, and—if people were exposed—whether the exposure might be associated with health problems. Our health consultation for Spring Valley is planned for 2002 and will consider the following:
ATSDR is evaluating the information received from local, state, and other federal agencies, along with the information gathered during the site visit. Based on this information, ATSDR will work with the other agencies involved to determine the best means to gather the information needed to evaluate current exposure.
Once the needed information is collected, ATSDR will evaluate whether the exposure is at levels of health concern. If conclusions warrant, a health consultation may include recommendations for actions to protect public health.
Yes, community members and other interested parties will be given the opportunity to comment on the document. Once the draft document is released, the document will be open for public comment for 30 days.
The Health Consultation will be released after the results of the exposure investigation and other data have been evaluated. Although it’s too early to predict the public release date, we anticipate it’s completion prior to September 2002.
ATSDR will send a draft copy of the document to anyone that is interested in reviewing it. In addition, a copy of the document will also be placed for your review in the information repository located at the Palisades Branch of the DC Public Library on 4901 V Street, NW (202-282-3139). Individuals who are interested in receiving the draft document can contact Loretta Bush at (888) 422-8737 between the hours of 9 am to 5 p.m. EST., Monday through Friday or email at email@example.com. Please reference the Spring Valley site.
For more information, contact either of the following ATSDR representatives.
Laura Frazier, Environmental Health Scientist
Phone: (888) 422-8737
Loretta Bush, Community Involvement Specialist
Phone: (888) 422-8737