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Council Committee of the Whole Continues Push to Shut Down the W Street Trash Transfer Station

Washington, DC – Today, the Council took another step urging the Executive to close and acquire the W Street Trash Transfer Station property. As Ward 5 residents know, the W Street Trash Transfer Station is a longstanding environmental injustice that has plagued our Brentwood neighborhood and Ward 5 as a whole for decades. In fact, the issue has even drawn national attention with a recent article in National Geographic.[1]

Since taking office in 2012 Councilmember McDuffie has been working to close the W Street Trash Transfer Station. Councilmember McDuffie has requested that the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) investigate many of the complaints the office receives, and has authored legislation to assist DDOE in regulating the air quality around trash transfer stations, and to reduce their hours of operation. (B20-368 the Air Quality Amendment Act of 2013; B20-638 the Solid Waste Facility Permit Amendment Act of 2014). Additionally, in 2014 and 2015 Councilmember McDuffie introduced legislation to provide the Mayor with the authority to exercise eminent domain to acquire this nuisance property (2014 bill: B20-1053; 2015 bill: B21-520).

At a public hearing on March 17, Councilmember McDuffie asked City Administrator Rashad Young about the District’s progress in acquiring the site, and was told that the Executive hoped to acquire the site by 2018.

“Initially, our only opportunity for another government use was to relocate DC Water’s fleet operations from their O Street, SE site to the trash transfer station” stated McDuffie. “Today’s action by the Council will put us on the path to get the highest and best use of the site, the District’s Archives facility. I will continue to ask my colleagues to support this proposal at our meeting to consider the budget, and will ask the Executive to move forward with this plan.”

The District of Columbia Archives facility is currently located at 1300 Naylor Court, NW. The facility “holds the historical records of the District Government including birth and death records, wills, land records, and marriage records. It also contains physical items of historical significance including artwork and other objects.”[2] The Naylor Court facility is in extreme disrepair, and though for years the District has planned to move the facility, until now an ideal location had not been identified.

“I want to thank Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Regina James, Brentwood Civic Association President Earline Frasier, Reverend Morris Shearin, the residents of Brentwood, and all of the residents of Ward 5 for their continued steadfast support in the quest to close this facility,” stated McDuffie. “As I have said before, today’s achievement does not mean the work is over. This is a positive step, but we must continue to fight for environmental justice for the residents of Ward 5.”

[1] Marianne Lavelle, Blocks From the Pope’s Mass, a Dumping Ground for the Nation’s Capital, September 23, 2015

[2] Committee of the Whole Report and Recommendations of the Committee of the Whole on the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget and Corresponding Budget Support Act




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