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For a Cleaner Anacostia River - The Anacostia River Sediment Project

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

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Anacostia River Sediment Project Update & Overview

Visit the Anacostia River Sediment Project website to learn more about the project, read the latest project documents, and sign up for updates.

Release of Proposed Plan for the Anacostia River Sediment Project 

DOEE is excited to share an important milestone in cleanup plans for the Anacostia River, with the release of the Proposed Plan for the Anacostia River Sediment Project (ARSP). That plan, part of a process that will make the river and two other bodies of water safer for the public and environmental health, is now available for public comment. The Proposed Plan, the ARSP document library, historical information, and frequently asked questions can be found on the project’s main website: anacostiasedimentproject.com.

Beginning in 2015, DOEE investigated contamination in an ARSP study area that includes the nine-mile tidal portion of the Anacostia River, Kingman Lake, and Washington Channel. Elevated concentrations of contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and pesticides from industrial, urban, and human activities are present in sediment throughout the river, posing a risk to aquatic wildlife and humans. The project is currently on track for a 2020 Interim Record of Decision (ROD) that will identify a provisional cleanup remedy for 11 Early Action Areas (EAAs) distributed within the ARSP study area and outline the process for its implementation. 

DOEE invites the public to review the Proposed Plan. The public comment period for this document was open from December 27, 2019 through March 2, 2020. DOEE will continue to accept late comments that will be responded to at the discretion of DOEE. Additional information on how to submit comments can be found at the project website listed above.

DOEE recently hosted four community meetings to share with residents the Anacostia River Sediment Project’s recently released Proposed Plan. At each meeting DOEE shared a presentation on the Proposed Plan, took questions from the audience, and provided informational handouts. Table stations focusing on remedial technologies, community outreach, and water quality in the Anacostia River were set up for attendees to visit. These materials in addition to recordings of the meetings can be found in the ARSP Community Meetings Document Library.

Anacostia River Sediment Project Overview

The Anacostia River Sediment Project (ARSP) is intended to identify any potential contamination in the nine-mile tidal portion of the Anacostia River. Since tributaries located in Maryland feed into the Anacostia River (located in the District of Columbia), we are actively working with the state of Maryland to identify potential contamination entering the river system. Based on the ARSP findings, some of the sediment—soil at the bottom of the river—have potentially harmful contaminants from industrial and urban human activities. The ultimate goal of the ARSP is to present a plan the makes the river safe for human health and the environment.

Decades of industrial and urban activities throughout the Anacostia River’s watershed have increasingly degraded the river and caused the substantial loss of tidal fringe wetlands and marshes. Elevated concentrations of contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and pesticides are all present in sediment throughout the river, posing a risk to aquatic organisms and to humans. The District Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) plans to release the Proposed Plan for the Interim Record of Decision (ROD) to clean up the river by the end of 2019 and the final ROD will follow.

Questions? Comments? Concerns?  Please complete this form:

UPDATE: The Anacostia River Use Survey

The Anacostia River Use Survey explores how the Anacostia River is currently used and ideas for its future use in 12 questions. The audience for the Survey is current and future river users. Some of the current river users that are targeted by the Survey include boaters – non motorized small boat (e.g., canoes, kayaks, sailing, SUP), motored small/large boat, and members of boating clubs (e.g., rowers, outriggers, dragon boats). Their responses will help us establish a recreational river depth. We are interested in anglers opinions – where they are fishing now and their ideas on river access. Responses are also important from new users or anyone interested in the learning more about the Anacostia River. Their responses will help us to learn about future recreational use preferences for the Anacostia River, as well as near river use interests like hiking, biking, and picnicking. Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete this survey. (Completa la encuesta en español)

Community Involvement Plan

For the public, stakeholders, and parties potentially responsible for pollution, DOEE has also prepared a Community Involvement Plan (CIP) for the Anacostia River Sediment Project that serves as a planning tool to promote an open dialogue throughout the Department’s investigation and during any remedial cleanup. DOEE is fully committed to involving the public in every phase of the investigation and cleanup efforts in a substantial and significant manner to meet established goals. The Community Involvement Plan is posted below.

If you have any questions regarding community involvement for the Anacostia River Sediment Project, please contact Gretchen Mikeska, Anacostia Coordinator at [email protected].

Administrative Record File

The administrative record file provides public access to Anacostia River Sediment Project documents. This includes records that the Department uses or considers for the project as well as documents that demonstrate the public’s participation in the project.

To utilize the administrative record file, please open the index file within the link below, which provides a list of all documents and their respective locations within folders and subfolders.