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Land Revitalization Winter '06 Newsletter – Paving the Way for a New Department of Transportation Headquarters

The U.S. Department of Transportation's new headquarters will reuse of an 11-acre parcel that was formerly a defense facility in Washington, D.C.

When the first phase of new Department of Transportation headquarters is completed in the fall of 2006, the ten-story office building will be 1.35 million rentable square feet with the purchase and construction costs anticipated to be in the neighborhood of $600 million. Designed by internationally renowned Architect Michael Graves, the headquarters incorporates a 50-foot court yard and plaza with retail kiosks and a green roof.

GSA Plans
Plan view of parcels on the U.S. General Services Administration's Southeast Federal Center property. The U.S. Department of Transportation is finishing their headquarters building construction on this site.


The new DOT headquarters is part of the Southeast Federal Center (SEFC) located on Anacostia River in southeast Washington, D.C. The DOT headquarters is under construction on 11 of the 55 acres that were once part of the Washington Navy Yard -- the nation's first naval shore station which began operations in 1799. Located within two miles of the U.S. Capitol, the DOT headquarters becomes part of a larger neighborhood revitalization that will include over 6000 residential housing units, retail and the much touted baseball stadium for the Washington Nationals.

Exterior Old Building
Aerial view
The U.S. DOT headquarters building during construction.
Aerial view of the Southeast Federal Center, located on the Anacostia River, with the Washington Navy Yard brick buildings on the right, and the U.S.Capitol in the background.

EPA and GSA have been working cooperatively to guide GSA's study of the soil and groundwater contamination and develop a cleanup plan through a Consent Order. Prior to the Consent Order, GSA voluntarily conducted environmental studies of the site and removed known contaminated soil and sediment. In addition, GSA decontaminated and demolished eleven buildings and reserving eight buildings of historic significance to be renovated for reuse.

Site contaminants reflect the past industrial activities on-site, which included shipbuilding and ordnance production. Soil contaminants include metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Groundwater contamination is limited to a few areas, and consists of gasoline compounds and some chlorinated solvents.

During the DOT excavation for the below grade parking facility, the soil was sampled, studied and remediated. As a part of the final remedy for the DOT parcel, groundwater remediation will continue as GSA develops the balance of the SEFC as GSA plans to continue development with a private sector developer to revitalize the property into commercial offices, retail, residential and cultural spaces and a large waterfront park.

EPA has reviewed the RCRA facility investigation report for the remaining parcels of land and has provided GSA comments on the next steps for final cleanup.

Return to Winter 2005/2006 Newsletter

Region 3 | Mid-Atlantic Cleanup | Mid-Atlantic Brownfields & Land Revitalization

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