- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 23, 2002

The U.S. Postal Service said yesterday that Thursday's test fumigation of the District's Brentwood Road processing facility for anthrax spores was a success, but the Environmental Protection Agency has yet to assess the results.
In September the Postal Service hailed as a success a test fumigation the EPA later deemed a failure.
Postal Service spokeswoman Debbie Yackley said yesterday that a team of 30 engineers and scientists was temporarily slowed by three minor problems that were subsequently solved in the test fumigation Thursday in a portion of the 17 million-cubic-foot building.
The Postal Service will submit the test data to the EPA, which is supervising the cleanup, for its decision on when a full fumigation can begin.
"We are optimistic," Miss Yackley said. "We've been working very closely with the EPA."
The fumigation will involve pumping chlorine dioxide into the building, and the EPA must issue an order for the toxic gas to be used in a public place.
Earlier this month, the fumigation of the sealed postal facility was delayed after cracks were found in air hoses that would carry the chlorine dioxide into the building.
Equipment tested Thursday will pump about 500 pounds of the lethal gas into the building, which has been sealed and made airtight to prevent leakage of anthrax spores and chlorine dioxide.
On Thursday the fumigation team had to repair a blown fuse, replace a chemical supply pump and seal leaking air vents around the building, Miss Yackley said.
For the gas to work, a relative humidity of 75 percent and a temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit must be maintained in the building.
Miss Yackley said the soonest that postal personnel would return to the facility is early spring. Postal officials will have to wait two to three weeks after the end of the fumigation for the EPA to give its clearance and to refurbish the building.
The Brentwood Road facility was renamed the Joseph Curseen Jr. and Thomas Morris Jr. Processing and Distribution Center last month in honor of the two postal workers who died of inhalation anthrax from contamination there.


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