USPS Brentwood & Trenton Anthrax Projects

Tim served in several capacities throughout this project’s lifecycle. During the design phase, he assisted with the design of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing of the systems. In the evenings, he wrote the process description and control logic for all the systems. During construction, Tim served as the Construction Manager. He also served as Operations Manager during the fumigation period. After fumigation was completed, Tim served as the Decommissioning and Demobilization Manager.

Scope of Work

Brentwood Mail Distribution Center

IT Corporation has been contracted by the U.S. Postal Service to provide engineering, design, fabrication, equipment, and personnel to support the decontamination of the Brentwood Mail Distribution Center (BMDC), located in Washington, D.C. from Anthrax exposure.  The building was 15.6 million cubic foot facility with two levels.  The roof covered eleven acres and the building perimeter was one-half mile.  The process involves several companies for which IT Corporation will provide equipment, utility connections, personnel, and support to provide the USPS with an operational system with several subsystems operated independently from each other.  Yet, all system’s information will be linked into IT Corporation’s programmable logic controller and data logging systems.  This will enable the entire team to monitor and record each sub-systems performance, BMDC interior conditions, outside meteorological conditions, and provide immediate communications to field personnel as required to optimize the performance of each sub-system, meet the overall objective, and provide the safest work area possible through real time data evaluations.

IT Corporation provided the following services and equipment:

  • Equipment
  • Process Controls
  • Mobilization and Setup Procedures
  • Process Startup Procedures
  • Process Operational procedures
  • Process Shutdown Procedures
  • Equipment Decontamination and Demobilization Procedures

The intent of the proposed process is to be able to decontaminate the BMDC using chlorine dioxide to destroy the Anthrax.  The chlorine dioxide will then be removed from the BMDC by neutralizing with sodium bisulfite through the same emitter systems as utilized for the chlorine dioxide.  Prior to, during, and after the introduction of chlorine dioxide into the BMDC, IT Corporation will provide and operate two negative air scrubber systems.  The negative air systems are designed to provide a negative draft on the facility and scrub the chlorine dioxide from the gas stream collected from the building, prior to discharging the scrubbed gas into the atmosphere.  The objective of the negative air systems is to minimize the possibility of chlorine dioxide from escaping the BMDC and providing a mechanism of removing the chlorine dioxide from the building in a timely manner, if necessary.

IT Corporation will work closely with the company responsible to maintain the chemical generation system and the operation of the emitter systems and sump returns.  IT Corporation will also be advised as to chemical process controls variations and will adjust the emitter liquid flow controls as required.  IT Corporation will shut systems down as time lines and conditions warrant through communication of such shutdowns by the chlorine dioxide fumigation contractors at the site.  IT Corporation will start the negative air systems when advised and will operate the systems until such time IT Corporation is told to shut the system down.  Because the time lines, chemical concentrations, building temperature, and building humidity are estimates at this time; IT Corporation will review real time data with site personnel to determine the best methods to maximize system performance and objectives. 

IT Corporation after being onsite for several weeks also built interface systems that allowed IT Corporation to operate and control the many building HVAC systems and all mail machinery from outside the building.  The high concentrations of chlorine dioxide inside the building did not allow anyone to be in the building during the fumigation event.  IT Corporation was also contracted to design, supply, construct, commission, operate, and decommission a facility drying system that would dry the building as the chlorine dioxide gas was being removed and scrubbed from the building.

IT Corporation completed the project after two years of R&D, fabrication, construction, commissioning, operation, and decommissioning.  The system was decontaminated, packaged, and shipped to Trenton Postal Facility to construct the system to fumigate that facility.

USPS Trenton Mail Distribution Facility

The team demobilized from the Brentwood Mail Distribution Facility and mobilized to the Trenton Mail Distribution Facility in Summer 2003.  By 2004, the team had constructed, commissioned, and fumigated the approximately 5 million cubic foot facility.  As before, the team had to integrate interior controlled HVAC and mail machinery with exterior control systems.

The team completed the fumigation in 2004 and like Brentwood, scrubbed the chlorine dioxide gas from the facility via chemical scrubbers at each end of the facility and used large drying systems to remove the excess moisture from the facility.  The team had completed the complete demobilization of the systems by the end of 2004.

The amazing fact remains that the systems operated flawlessly at both locations and both locations had achieved a log nine kill within twenty-four hours of initiating the fumigation.  As impressive, neither facility tested positive for presence of anthrax or its surrogates at either facility.  This was a tribute the professionalism provided by the team and the technology applied to overcome the terrorist attacks on our postal facilities.

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