- The Washington Times - Monday, December 3, 2001

Cleanup crews yesterday ventured inside the Hart Senate Office Building where an anthrax-laced letter was opened in the office of Sen. Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, in October to measure levels of chlorine dioxide after the toxic gas was pumped in to eradicate any last trace of anthrax contamination.
Authorities believe the toxic gas is crucial in destroying all traces of anthrax spores in the building, which has been closed since Oct. 14. Lab results are not expected for about a week.
All was quiet around the Hart and Dirksen Senate office buildings. Few pedestrians passed by.
"This is the way we like it," said a member of the National Capitol Police stationed near the two office buildings. Officers have been patrolling the area since the anthrax scare more than a month ago.
The officers on guard said they knew nothing about the use of chemicals to nullify anthrax and clear the air. U.S. flags hung in many windows, and lights were on in several offices that police said were unoccupied.
Environmental Protection Agency coordinator Richard Rupert said the first team of workers took photographs and videotapes yesterday. They checked readings and disconnected some equipment as the Hart building was fumigated and cleared of gas.
After the fumigation, sodium bisulfite was pumped into Mr. Daschle's office suite to break down the chlorine dioxide. That site was chosen because it was where the anthrax spores were found in the greatest numbers.
Mr. Rupert said early readings put the level of chlorine dioxide at 800 parts per million, but it quickly dropped to less than 20 parts per million this morning.
The operation is intended to make it safe to reopen the building of 50 offices.
Mr. Rupert says it "went real well, and everyone's in good spirits."
Meanwhile, analysts say spending on anti-terrorism measures is revitalizing the economy of the D.C.-area, including Northern Virginia.
George Mason University economist Stephen Fuller declared, "There is no recession in Washington. The revitalization comes from a rising wave of federal spending that is raising salaries, pouring cash into government installations and delivering a wartime surge of activity."
About $2 billion of a $20 billion anti-terror bill passed last week by the House is designated for the capital area.
Most will be used to rebuild the Pentagon and heighten emergency preparedness across the region.

This story is based on wire service reports.

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