Norton to Army: Move Family From Dump

Photograph by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton during the news conference in this file photo.

A family that wants to leave the tony Washington, D.C., neighborhood of Spring Valley because of concerns over the area being a former dumping ground for military munitions is getting some help from Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.

The District of Columbia’s non-voting representative in the House wrote a letter today to the Army Corps of Engineers, urging it to temporarily relocate Rogerio Zandamela and his family, including two children ages 1 and 5.

They live across the street from a property on Glenbrook Road, where the Army has already demolished a home and removed some of the 500 munitions, 400 pounds of laboratory glassware and 100 tons of contaminated soil found in the area, according to Norton.

During World War I, the northwest neighborhood was part of a site used by the Army to develop and test chemical weapons such as mustard gas. Now, it’s home to multimillion-dollar residential properties and American University.

“The cost of relocating this family is small compared to the overall cost of this years-long project,” Norton, a Democrat, wrote.

The price tag for the entire remediation project, now two decades old, is about $240 million, according to Andrea Takash, a spokeswoman for the Army Corps.

It’s unclear how much it would cost to move the Zandamelas.

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