Anacostia Riverkeeper advocates to get toxic "hot spots" in the river cleaned up -- and to make sure the polluters who created the mess pick up the tab. In addition, we hold government officials accountable  to inform those who live near the river about the risks. The sites pose an evironmental health risk for the communities that live and use the river in these locations, as well as for the wildlife.

Site Map

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had identified six known toxic sites along the Anacostia River: sites known to be polluted with dangerous chemicals and heavy metals. This toxic waste pollutes not only the land itself, but also finds its way into the river through runoff, discharges, and leaching. The sites are Pepco Benning Road, Anacostia National Park at Poplar Point, Kenilowrth Park (formerly the DC Dump), the Washington Navy Yard, the GSA Southest Federal Center, and Washington Gas Light.

EPA had given the District until December 15, 2010 to develop cleanup orders for the three sites for which it is responsible: Washington Gas Light, Pepco Benning Road, and Kenilworth Park. A remediation plan with a time table and community outreach has been established for the Pepco Benning Road site. A remediation plan has been set forth for the Washington Gas site and as of May 2012, no plan has been put in place for Kenilworth Park.


ARK's Work:


Anacostia Riverkeeper advocates for the cleanup of all the toxic sites along the Anacostia River and advocates for public participation in the decision-making process involving this cleanup.

Legal Action

Certain environmental laws in this country, such as the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), allow citizens adversely affected by certain types of pollution to bring suit in court. These citizen suits are a powerful tool in stopping polluters and holding regulatory agencies accountable. Anacostia Riverkeeper brings citizen suits on behalf of its members. Three such cases involve the toxic sites along the Anacostia River, at Anacostia National Park at Poplar Point, the Washington Gas Light site and the  Pepco Benning Road site.

Site Updates

Stay informed about the six know toxic sites in the Anacostia watershed. The site updates will provide you with valuable information and ways to get involved as a citizen concerned about the health of the watershed.


Collaborating to Take Action:

In 1999, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency brought together the Anacostia Watershed Toxics Alliance (AWTA), a coalition of more than 25 nonprofits, institutions, and agencies, to deal with contamination problems in the Watershed.


Learn More:

US Fish and Wildlife Chesapeake Bay Office Anacostia Report  (Information about brown bullhead catfish)

Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership's White Paper on Toxins in the Anacostia

River Network Healthy Rivers, Healthy Communities Program