Anacostia Watershed Blog

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.

Public Meeting on March 2 for the Pepco Benning Road Investigation


Pepco Benning Road Power Plant

Hurricane Sandy's Impact on the Anacostia Watershed


View of the Anacostia River under the South Capitol St Bridge.

Last Call for Comments on Pepco Benning Road Investigation Work Plans

Friday, September 28, 2012, is the submission deadline for public comments regarding the three work plan documents Pepco developed, per the Consent Decree, for the investigation of suspected contaminants migrating from their Benning Road property to the Anacostia River.


Google Map showing neighborhoods immediately impacted by Pepco Benning Road Facility operations. Starting from the northwestern portion of the map and ending in the northeastern portion, these neighborhoods are: Carver Terrace, Langston Terrace, Kingman Park, River Terrace, Mayfair, Eastland Gardens, Kenilworth-Parkside.

Public Meeting Concerning Pepco Benning Road Investigation

On September 15, 2012, Pepco and the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) will host a Community Meeting at the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (4058 Minnesota Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20019) in the Community Room from 11 am to 1 pm. This public event is an opportunity for those interested in the Pepco Benning Road environmental site investigation and cleanup to learn more about these efforts and provide comments directly to DDOE and Pepco officials.

Click here for a copy of the official public notice.

We have also compiled summaries of the work plan documents currently up for public comment:
1. Summary of the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) Work Plan
2. Summary of the Health and Safety Plan

Work Plans for the Pepco Benning Road Cleanup

The current comment periods for the Pepco Benning Road Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) work plans have been extended. All comments must now be submitted by September 28, 2012, to the District Department of the Environment (see details below).

These documents can be accessed on DDOE's website by clicking on the following links:
1. Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) Work Plan
2. Sampling and Analysis Plan
3. Health and Safety Plan
 


The study area (highlighted in blue) for this investigation consists of the entire Pepco Benning Road property, totaling 77 acres, and a segment of the Anacostia River, approximately 12 acres. (This image was taken from the work plans prepared by AECOM.)

Pepco Benning Road - Community Advisory Group Meeting and Comment Period



View of the Pepco Benning Road power plant from the Anacostia River.

On August 16, 2012, the Community Advisory Group (CAG) for the District Department of the Environment (DDOE)/Pepco Benning Road Consent Decree will meet for the first time at the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (4058 Minnesota Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20019) in the Community Room starting at 6:30 pm. The CAG consists of community organization members within the surrounding area of the Pepco facility and will serve as the voice for the public during the investigation process.

With the closure of the Pepco power plant (occupying 25% of the Benning Road facility) as of June 1, 2012, final approval of the Community Involvement Plan, and the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) proposed procedures ready for public comment, the CAG will meet to discuss the following:

Creatures from the River: Bryozoa

Yesterday, while out conducting routine water monitoring, our Water Quality Specialist Masaya Maeda found this blob in the water near Bladensburg Waterfront Park. Not as pretty as some of his other photos but it's still part of our river's ecosystem, and a nifty specimen at that.

It's a colony of Bryozoa, which is a group of organisms that has been around for approximately 5 million years! Most of these critters live in marine waters, but there is one class from the Bryozoan phylum that lives in freshwater: Phylactolaemata. The colonies form on submerged logs, branches, etc. and can be 2 to 7 feet in diameter.