Pepco Benning Road Facility Plans and Deliverables: Public Comment Period Ends- Sept. 17, 2012

We all know that the Anacostia River is polluted.  District residents and our neighbors in the Chesapeake Watershed have waited years for something to be done.  Finally, the District of Columbia and the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) are taking action to clean up some of the river’s worst toxic sites. Pepco’s Benning Road power plant is among dirtiest on the river. 

Background

The Benning Road plant is a 77-acre facility boarded on the east by the Kenilworth neighborhood, commercial areas to the south, and on the west by the Anacostia River (include picture).  It was constructed in 1906, and has operated several different electricity-generating units over the years.  Currently, two steam turbine units generate power and occupy only 20% of the site. The rest houses PEPCO’s Benning Service Center and major electric transmission and distribution facilities.  The plant, which only operates ten to fifteen days per year during periods of peak energy demand, will be officially closing in 2012.  However, Benning Road will remain a major threat to public health until 100 years of pollutants and toxins are thoroughly mitigated.

Between 1985 and 2003 there were six (6) documented releases of polychlorinated biphenyls (“PCBs”) (hereinafter collectively referred to as the “1985-2003 PCB releases”) into the environment at Pepco’s facility, located at 3400 Benning Road, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20019 (the “Facility”). Although Pepco conducted remedial actions in response to each of these releases in accordance with applicable legal requirements, because of the Facility’s proximate location to the Anacostia River, the PCBs released at the Facility may have migrated from the property into the sediment of the adjacent Anacostia River via the storm water system, overland flow or groundwater discharge.

Once PCB’s are released into the environment they do not readily break down and therefore may remain for long periods of time cycling between air, water, and soil. PCBs can also be taken up into the bodies of small organisms and fish. As a result, people who ingest fish may be exposed to PCBs that have bioaccumulated in the fish they are ingesting. PCBs have been demonstrated to cause a variety of adverse health effects, including cancer.

Sampling and Analysis Plan

  • Draft Sampling and Analysis Plan [PDF] A draft of the Sampling and Analysis Plan (“SAP”) is currently under review by DDOE. The SAP details the specifics of the sampling events that will occur as part of the environmental investigation at the Pepco Benning Road facility. The public comment period is open from August 9, 2012 until September 17, 2012. Below, is the link to the Draft SAP. All comments must be submitted in writing via mail to the District Department of the Environment, Environmental Services Administration, 1200 First Street, N.E., 5th Floor, Washington D.C., 20002, Attention: Apurva Patil, or by email to apurva.patil@dc.gov.

Work Plan

  • Draft Work Plan Documents [PDF]
  • A draft work plan (“WP”) is currently under review by DDOE. The WP details the work to be performed as part of the Scope of Work, includes the landside and sediment based investigations of the Benning Road Facility. The public comment period is open from August 9, 2012 until September 17, 2012. All comments must be submitted in writing via mail to the District Department of the Environment, Environmental Services Administration, 1200 First Street, N.E., 5th Floor, Washington D.C., 20002, Attention: Apurva Patil, or by email to apurva.patil@dc.gov.

Health and Safety Plan

Draft Health and Safety Plan [PDF]

  • A draft health and safety plan (“HASP”) is currently under review by DDOE. The HASP details the safety measures and protocols set up to protect the workers from any contamination, while ensuring that the public is protected from contamination while the investigation is underway. The public comment period is open from August 9, 2012 until September 17, 2012. All comments must be submitted in writing via mail to the District Department of the Environment, Environmental Services Administration, 1200 First Street, N.E., 5th Floor, Washington D.C., 20002, Attention: Apurva Patil, or by email to apurva.patil@dc.gov.

Please send your comments and concerns on or before September 17, 2012. If any one have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Best,

Lisa White, ANC Commissioner SMD 7D01 Kingman Park

TELL DDOE: Extend the Communities RIGHT to COMMENT!

Kingman Park Community Members,

Please sign this petition to extend the comment period about the Pepco Power Plant on Benning Road. Our voices need to be heard!

Lisa White, ANC Commissioner SMD 7D01 Kingman Park

On February 3, 2012, the District of Columbia published for public notice and comment a Community Involvement Plan (CIP) for the remediation of the Potomac Electric Power Company facility at 3400 Benning Rd., N.E., Washington D.C., 20019.

Sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/petitions/tell-ddoe-extend-the-communities-right-to-comment

On February 10th The DDOE began accepting public comments on the community involvement plan for 30 days.

DDOE representative Jared Piaggione set a deadline of March 7th for accepting public comments.

WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM:

1.The DDOE did very little to promote the public commenting period to the community surrounding the PEPCO benning road plant. The announcement was placed in the DC register a little used and highly complex online resource of the Government of the District of Columbia.

2. The plan was supposed to be available via the DDOE website but is difficult to find and not promoted on the front page or on any notices to community residents.

3.That is technically not 30 days for public comment.

The PEPCO Benning Road Power Plant is historically known for being an environmental injustice to the community leading to increased rates of asthma, cancer and respiratory illness. For decades the blight of the Power Plant has led to decreased property value and contributed to the collection of toxic facilities surrounding the Anacostia Riverfront. The closing of the PEPCO Benning Road Power Plant and Facility is a major step in reducing air pollution for the community. However many fear that it will lead to further gentrification and displacement of local residents.

Community Residents have the right to know what’s going on and to comment on the future of their own community!

Tell DDOE to extend the Public Comment Period on the Community Involvement Plan for the Benning Road Facility in Washington, DC for 30-60 more days so community residents can be truly informed and engaged.

 Please Sign the Petition and Tell DDOE: “GIVE THE COMMUNITY TIME and SUPPORT TO  COMMENT!”

With your help we can make sure the voices of the community are truly acknowledged and respected.

Supporting Documents and Resources:

Community Involvement Plan:

http://ddoe.dc.gov/publication/draft-community-involvement-plan

Consent Decree Announcement:

http://ddoe.dc.gov/publication/draft-community-involvement-plan

Community Involvement in PEPCO Benning Road Clean-up

With your help we can make sure the voices of the community are truly acknowledged and respected.

Supporting Documents and Resources:

Community Involvement Plan:

http://ddoe.dc.gov/publication/draft-community-involvement-plan

Consent Decree Announcement:

http://ddoe.dc.gov/publication/draft-community-involvement-plan

 More on the Environmental Justice Climate Change Initiative:

www.ejcc.org

PEPCO Benning Health Meeting

Pepco log...

Dear Community Members:

We will have a face to face meeting of the PEPCO Benning Health study team on Saturday, February 25th, 2012 at East of the River Family Strengthening Collaborative offices at 3917 Minnesota Avenue NE in the conference room. The meeting will last about an hour followed by lunch.

After lunch there will be the initial meeting of the Community Advisory Group that is forming to work with PEPCO and DDOE on the plans for cleaning up the PEPCO Benning site.

The agenda for Saturday the 25th is as follows:

11:00 Health Impact Study team planning session

12`00 Lunch served

12:30 Community Advisory Group meeting with DDOE and PEPCO representatives

1:30 End of meeting

Both meetings will be open to observers and additional community participants. We need more participation on both groups so feel free to invite people you think may be interested.

The DDOE and PEPCO representatives will be asked to arrive at lunchtime so they can participate in the second meeting only.

Janet A. Phoenix, MD, MPH

Coordinator, DC Environmental Health Collaborative

Community Involvement Plan (CIP) with Pepco

DISTRICT DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT   

NOTICE OF PUBLICATION

Notice is herby given that on February 3, 2012 the District of Columbia will publish for public notice and comment a Community Involvement Plan (CIP) for the remediation of the Potomac Electric Power Company facility at 3400 Benning Rd., N.E., Washington D.C., 20019.

The CIP is part of the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) required by court order in District of Columbia v. Potomac Electric Power Company and Pepco Energy Services, Inc, Case No. 1:11-cv-00282-BAH (D.D.C. filed Feb. 1, 2001).

The CIP will be available on the District Department of the Environment website (http://ddoe.dc.gov).  The District of Columbia will accept public comments on the CIP for 30 days, beginning on February 10, 2012.   All comments must be submitted in writing via mail to the District Department of the Environment, Office of the General Counsel, 1200 First Street, N.E., 5th Floor, Washington D.C., 20002, Attention: Jared Piaggionne, or by email to jared.piaggionne@dc.gov.

Friendly Reminder: PEPCO Benning Health- Sat. Jan. 21, 2012

Dear Community Members:

We will have a face to face meeting of the PEPCO Benning Health study team on Saturday January 21st at East of the River Family Strengthening Collaborative offices at 3917 Minnesota Avenue NE in the conference room. The meeting will last about an hour followed by lunch.

After lunch there will be the initial meeting of the Community Advisory Group that is forming to work with PEPCO and DDOE on the plans for cleaning up the PEPCO Benning site. A planning meeting for a Community Advisory Group was held on December 21st at DDOE. The minutes of that meeting are attached.

 The agenda for Saturday the 21st is as follows:

11:00 Health Impact Study team planning session

12`00 Lunch served

12:30 Community Advisory Group meeting with DDOE and PEPCO representatives

1:30 End of meeting

Both meetings will be open to observers and additional community participants. We need more participation on both groups so feel free to invite people you think may be interested.

The DDOE and PEPCO representatives will be asked to arrive at lunchtime so they can participate in the second meeting only.

Janet A. Phoenix, MD, MPH

Coordinator, DC Environmental Health Collaborative

Pepco Benning Health Study Team

Dear Community Members:

We will have a face to face meeting of the PEPCO Benning Health study team on Saturday January 21st at East of the River Family Strengthening Collaborative offices at 3917 Minnesota Avenue NE in the conference room. The meeting will last about an hour followed by lunch.

After lunch there will be the initial meeting of the Community Advisory Group that is forming to work with PEPCO and DDOE on the plans for cleaning up the PEPCO Benning site. A planning meeting for a Community Advisory Group was held on December 21st at DDOE. The minutes of that meeting are attached.

The agenda for Saturday the 21st is as follows:

11:00 Health Impact Study team planning session

12:00 Lunch served

12:30 Community Advisory Group meeting with DDOE and PEPCO representatives

1:30 End of meeting

Both meetings will be open to observers and additional community participants. We need more participation on both groups so feel free to invite people you think may be interested.

 The DDOE and PEPCO representatives will be asked to arrive at lunchtime so they can participate in the second meeting only.

Janet A. Phoenix, MD, MPH

Coordinator, DC Environmental Health Collaborative