Anacostia Watershed Blog

Mayor Gray to Sign Sustainable DC Legislation and Kick Off River Sediment Project


Save the Date flyer sent out by the District Department of the Environment.

On Tuesday, July 29, at 1:30 pm, DC Mayor Vincent Gray is hosting a signing ceremony at Anacostia Community Boathouse (1900 M St. SE) for the Sustainable DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2014 followed by the launch of sampling activities for the Anacostia River Sediment Project. These are two very important efforts for the health of the environment, particularly the Anacostia River, that were a top priority this year for AWS and other supporters.

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Updates for Anacostia River Sediment Project: Plans Finalized, Field Activities Begin, and a New Deadline


Final Anacostia River Sediment Project boundary map. Click image for larger view.
Provided by Tetra Tech in Final Remedial Investigation Work Plan.

Update: Waters of the U.S. Proposed Rule Comment Extension


Anacostia River near Pennsylvania Ave. Bridge, June 2014.

After receiving many requests for an extension on the public comment period for Waters of the United States Proposed Rule published in April by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers, the agencies responded announcing an additional 90-days. The new deadline is now October 20, 2014.

This proposed rule is a huge step forward for clean water as this would more clearly define those waters protected under the Clean Water Act. For the Anacostia River, this would mean that wetlands and seasonal streams that support the river and its tributaries are without a doubt protected under the law helping ensure smart land use and development near those areas.

Update: Online Survey and Public Meeting Announced for Anacostia River Sediment Project


February 2014. Meeting hosted by AWS and other members of United for a Healthy Anacostia River coalition regarding cleanup of toxics. Let’s grow this crowd for the meeting in June (details below)!

Progress continues to be made for the Anacostia River Sediment Project with District Department of the Environment (DDOE) officials recently announcing two important opportunities for public involvement. Get your keyboards ready and mark your calendars!

You can:

Toxics Cleanup Efforts: A Review of Past and Present Activities


Click on the image for a larger view. Map showing study area of the Anacostia River Sediment Project. Specific locations (in orange) are also identified for past and ongoing efforts. Provided by Tetra Tech in draft Remedial Investigation Work Plan.

There has been a lot of recent activity on the issue of toxics in the Anacostia River so this is an excellent time to provide updates along with some background information on each of the projects.

Support Proposed Ruling to Strengthen Clean Water Act!
 


Anacostia River.

Yesterday marked the official start of a 90-day public comment period for a proposed rule on the Clean Water Act (CWA) published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps). This proposal more clearly defines which waters are protected under the CWA closing some loopholes in the law for wetlands and streams. For the Anacostia River watershed, this could mean that there would be no doubt that the wetlands and seasonal streams that support the river are protected under the law ensuring smart land use and development near those areas.

DC’s Bag Law – It’s Working!


A new study shows that Washington DC’s Bag Law is working for both consumers and businesses. That’s the conclusion of a study commissioned by the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) that surveyed residents and businesses to measure the impact of the law that was implemented four years ago to reduce plastic bag litter, especially in streams and the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. Across the District there has been a significant reduction in disposable bag use: businesses have reduced their use of bags by 50% on average, and four in five DC residents now carry reusable bags when shopping, with 58% stating that they carry them “most of the time” or “always.”

Of the 600 randomly surveyed DC residents –

Demolition of the Pepco Benning Road Power Plant

Pepco Energy Services has announced that they have plans to completely demolish the power plant that sits just off of Benning Road NE near the Anacostia River.


Google satellite image of the Pepco Benning Road facility (property boundary highlighted in red) – the power plant structure occupies only 25% of the site which is bordered by the Anacostia River (West), a DC Solid Waste Station and the National Park Service Kenilworth Maintenance Yard (North), residential areas (East and South), and Benning Road (South).

Legacy Toxics, Look Out!
 


Anacostia River.

Joining the efforts of many in returning the Anacostia River to an ecologically healthy state, the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) is once again taking the lead on the issue of contaminated sediments, but this time on a much larger scale. DDOE recently announced that it will conduct a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS) of the sediments in the entire stretch of the Anacostia River!

Hooray for our Earth!


Anacostia River seen from Bladensburg Waterfront Park.