Chemical projectiles, other munitions among Spring Valley finds

By Michael E. Ruane
Washington Post staff writer
Tuesday, December 1, 2009; 5:57 PM

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week said that it has collected for disposal next year five discarded World War I chemical weapons projectiles along with a host of other munitions recovered over the last two years at the sites of its Spring Valley hazardous materials excavations.

Among the finds were one 75-millimeter projectile believed to contain the potentially deadly agent Lewisite, one believed to contain the blister agent, mustard, and three believed to contain the toxic agent, arsine. Also gathered were various other non-chemical projectiles and detonators.

The munitions, found at World War I weapons research sites in the Northwest Washington neighborhood, are in storage. An Army report on the finds and methods of disposal can be viewed at the U.S. Army Corps Web site. The Army will host an open house on the report Dec. 8 from 6-8 p.m. at the Metropolitan Memorial Methodist Church, 3401 Nebraska Ave. NW.

The munitions cleanup in the neighborhood has been underway on and off for 16 years.

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