From 1942 until 1968, the District of Columbia (District) operated a landfill on the northern portion of the Park (Kenilworth Park North, or KPN), between Watts Branch (a tributary to the Anacostia River) and the Aquatic Gardens. During this period, the KPN Landfill received municipal waste and incinerator ash. Municipal waste was burned at the KPN Landfill until 1968, followed by a brief period of landfilling without open burning, before landfill operations moved south of Watts Branch to the southern portion of the Site (Kenilworth Park South, or KPS). By the 1970s, the entire landfill (KPN and KPS) had ceased operations, was covered with soil, revegetated, and reclaimed for recreational purposes. The Site is comprised of both KPN and KPS.
In 1973, the District Department of Parks and Recreation opened the Kenilworth-Parkside Community Center in the northeast portion of KPN (currently demolished); playing fields also were built on the northern and southern portions of KPN. KPS is currently undeveloped and not used for active recreation.
In late 1998, NPS began conducting environmental investigations at the Site to determine what risks, if any, the former landfills may pose to human health or the environment. In 2012, NPS published a Feasibility Study Report (FS) to identify and evaluate potential remedial alternatives to address contamination at the Site. Next, NPS will prepare a Proposed Plan for public review and comment, followed by a Record of Decision (ROD), also expected in 2012, selecting the preferred course of action for the Site.
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