Norton fails to secure funds for Spring Valley health study

An effort by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) to secure federal funds for a health study of the Spring Valley neighborhood failed Thursday, though the government may still decide to step up with the money at a later date.

Norton proposed an amendment to the Pentagon spending bill currently on the House floor that would have set aside federal money to help pay for a new $1 million study of the Northwest D.C. community, where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been cleaning up buried World War I-era munitions. A 2007 study found the community’s overall health was “very good.”

Norton’s amendment failed on a voice vote, and she chose not to ask for a recorded tally, probably because she knew it would not pass.

But Norton’s effort may still bear fruit. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) noted that the defense bill would include more than $200 million to clean up Formerly Used Defense Sites, and some of that cash could go to pay for the Spring Valley study if the Pentagon deemed it appropriate. And Rep. Norm Dicks (Wash.), the Appropriations Committee’s top Democrat, said he would help Norton in her effort.

“I will work with you on seeing if we can talk to the military to use environmental restoration funds” for Spring Valley, Dicks said.

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