Postal Service wants to build mail irradiation center

The Postal Service next week will begin assessing the merits of building a mail irradiation facility in Washington to scan all mail addressed to the area's federal offices.

Currently, all mail addressed to Washington-area agencies is collected at a postal facility in Northeast Washington, then shipped to Bridgeport, N.J., where a contractor irradiates it. Upon return to Washington, the mail must sit in isolation for 12 hours. The entire process, in place since the October 2001 anthrax attacks, takes 3 to 4 days.

By building a local facility, Postal Service officials believe they can get mail to federal agencies more quickly. Doing so would also save the agency money, although exactly how much has not been determined. The current contract with IBA-Worldwide costs the agency about $10 million a year. That includes transportation and irradiation.

The agency's preference is to build a facility on land it owns next to the Curseen-Morris Processing and Distribution Center in Northeast Washington, the site of the anthrax attacks, according to agency spokesman Robert Anderson.

Next week, the agency will start an environmental impact assessment to determine whether the site is suitable for such a facility. A host of city and federal agencies are involved in that process, which could take several months. Assuming the site is approved, the Postal Board of Governors must grant funding for the project. From the time funding is approved, it could take two years to get the facility built, said Anderson. The agency hasn't determined if it would hire a contractor to run the facility or train postal employees.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.