— Lawsuit over Newsom administration sweetheart deal with Boeing on SSFL cleanup

From Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility PEER

Thursday, October 6, 2022
Jeff Ruch, PEER, jruch@peer.org (510) 213-7028
Melissa Bumstead, Parents Against Santa Susana Field Lab Santasusanacampaign@gmail.com (818) 233-0642
Denise Duffield, Physicians for Social Responsibility, dduffield@psr-la.org (310) 339-9676
Lawrence Yee lhyee306@gmail.com 

Boeing’s Weak Santa Susana Cleanup Triggers Lawsuit 

Sweetheart Deal Negotiated Behind Closed Doors Violates CEQA Mandates  

Oakland — The Newsom administration’s backroom deal with the Boeing Co. to dramatically weaken cleanup standards at the profoundly polluted Santa Susana Field Laboratory violates the public involvement and transparency requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), charges a lawsuit filed today by community and public health groups. The suit would open the cleanup agreement to public scrutiny and force the state agencies and the Boeing Co. to justify a cleanup methodology that leaves 90% of the contamination onsite.

Filed today in Ventura County Superior Court by Parents Against Santa Susana Field Lab, Physicians for Social Responsibility (LA Chapter), and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), the suit would, if successful, vacate both the cleanup agreement and an accompanying promise to free Boeing from toxic stormwater discharge requirements.

“This suit does not prevent cleanup from beginning immediately but instead aims to ensure it continues until it is fully completed,” stated Pacific PEER Director Jeff Ruch, noting that under a prior Consent Order, the cleanup was supposed to have been completed back in 2017. “This lawsuit is about having this cleanup done right and well beyond the outrageous ‘rip and skip’ deal that Boeing wrangled behind closed doors.”

After repeatedly promising to enforce a 2007 legally binding cleanup agreement with Boeing, the Newsom administration secretly negotiated an 800-page agreement that “supersedes” the prior order by substantially relaxing key cleanup requirements, allowing hundreds of times higher levels of toxic chemicals than previously permitted, and leaving much the contamination onsite.

“Because my daughter has fought cancer twice, I know firsthand why a complete cleanup is needed to protect our children,” said Melissa Bumstead, President of Parents Against Santa Susana Field Lab, representing families afflicted with diseases associated with contaminants at that site. “Our kids deserve to grow up safe from the daily threat of exposure to toxic and carcinogenic contamination. Their health and quality of life matter more than Boeing’s profit.”

The deal is so bad that Lawrence Yee who had been Chair of the LA Regional Water Quality Control Board, testified against it as a private citizen. He is joining with the groups advocating for a full cleanup at Santa Susana.

“The Boeing agreement will put surrounding communities at a perpetual risk of exposure to harmful contamination. We owe it to current and future generations to ensure that all of the contamination is cleaned up as promised,” added Dr. Robert Dodge, President of PSR-LA. “It is a shocking betrayal by the Newsom Administration and yet another example of why there is such little public confidence in California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control.”

The groups are represented in this litigation by the Oakland-based law firm LozeauDrury LLP.


See the complaint

Look at supporting brief

Examine deficiencies in Boeing cleanup deal

Read Lawrence Yee’s statement



— Newsom Lets Boeing Keep Groundwater Forever Polluted at Santa Susana

From Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility — PEER

Tuesday, November 22, 2022
Jeff Ruch (510) 213-7028 jruch@peer.org 

Newsom Lets Boeing Keep Groundwater Forever Polluted

New Deal Sets No Timetable for Cleaning Highly Toxic Santa Susana Aquifer

Oakland, CA — The Newsom administration has executed a Covenant “in perpetuity” with the Boeing Company allowing the highly polluted groundwater under the Santa Susana Field Laboratory to remain polluted for “an indeterminate amount of time,” according to documents posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). This arrangement will save Boeing a considerable amount of money by relieving it of any concrete remediation responsibilities or liability for the acutely polluted aquifer left behind on the controversial Venture County site, ten miles from downtown Los Angeles.

This deal is the latest chapter in a sweeping sweetheart deal the Newsom administration reached with Boeing this summer to absolve the corporation from having to clean up an estimated 90% of the polluted soil and from having to retain a stormwater discharge permit.

This reverses the state’s longstanding position that protecting public health requires a complete groundwater cleanup. In addition, leaving groundwater untreated for an indeterminate period –

  • Further imperils drinking and agricultural water supplies in Ventura County, where contaminants from the Santa Susana aquifer are already appearing;
  • Ignores further migration of contaminated water from the Santa Susana aquifer to other neighboring aquifers; and
  • Would allow Boeing to continue to apply the groundwater onsite for “dust suppression and irrigation,” possibly creating a new surface water threat.

“This deal condemns Santa Susana to serve as a perpetual sacrifice zone dedicated to corporate convenience,” stated Pacific PEER Director Jeff Ruch, pointing out that any timelines for cleaning the groundwater have evaporated in the state’s latest deal with Boeing. “Bottling up a toxic plume for eternity and then walking away is a deal most polluters would love.”

PEER is leading a coalition of groups suing the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and Boeing to invalidate all facets of this closed-door settlement on the grounds that it violates the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), especially with respect to the total lack of public involvement or consideration of alternatives. Ironically, DTSC is the state agency charged with enforcing CEQA.

The existence of the Covenant was revealed by a legal notice DTSC placed in a local newspaper one month after the Covenant was recorded.

“Until last year, DTSC contended that aquifer restoration at Santa Susana was a legally required public health measure; the exact opposite of its current stand,” added Ruch, pointing out that DTSC has completely adopted Boeing’s position. “The Newsom administration is now so deep into Boeing’s pocket they could collect lint.”


Read the DTSC-Boeing groundwater covenant

Look at reports of groundwater migration from SSFL

See DTSC 2019 demand that SSFL groundwater be cleaned to protect public health

Look at the soil and surface water cleanup deals

See the PEER lawsuit

View the DTDC public notice


— MSNBC, November 14 – “In the Dark of the Valley” on Santa Susana Field Laboratory


November 14, 2022
10 PM ET


A Southern California mother discovers that the Santa Susana Field Lab, the site of one of the largest nuclear accidents in U.S. history, is located only 7 miles from her home. Concealed from the public eye for 20 years and never fully cleaned up, she grapples with the idea that the site may be responsible for exposing her daughter and community to cancer-causing radioactive waste. The feature documentary, directed by Nicholas Mihm, airs Sunday, November 14th at 10 p.m. ET on MSNBC.


Trailer: https://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/watch/-in-the-dark-of-the-valley-official-trailer-123022917987

LA’s Nuclear Secret

— Bruce Gagnon Writes to UN Chief on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant situation

From Anti-War.com

August 19, 2022

Dear Secretary General Antonio Guterres,

I am writing with grave concern about the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine.

I have been following this dangerous situation for many weeks. It is abundantly obvious to me that the US-installed Kiev government is doing the shelling of the nuclear plant.

Why would Russia want to contaminate the very region of Russian-ethnic citizens it is attempting to save from this out-of-control Kiev regime?

The fact that the Ukrainian plant personnel remain on their posts, and that Russia is trying to protect the plant from a disaster, indicates its good intentions in this matter.

I urge your offices to get the IAEA to the plant ASAP and you must publicly pin the blame for the shelling on the appropriate source – the Kiev regime that is clearly taking their marching orders from Washington.

Has the United Nations begun to also take their orders from the Biden administration? At this point one must surely wonder if that is the case as we face the possibility of a massive global disaster.

If you cannot perform your job appropriately, and protect the global population, then maybe it would be time for you to step aside and leave the post to someone more willing to speak truth to power.

The fate of much of humanity is at stake here.

In peace,

Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
http://space4peace.blogspot.com (blog)


— Ukraine planning nuclear provocation on Friday, 19 August – Moscow


August 18, 2022

Kiev is set on attacking the Zaporozhye power plant during a visit by the UN’s top official, the Russian military claims.

Ukraine plans to carry out artillery strikes on the Russia-controlled Zaporozhye nuclear power plant on Friday, and then accuse Moscow of causing a disaster at the site, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

The predicted attack will be timed to coincide with the ongoing visit to Ukraine by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Moscow insisted.

An official said they had detected the movements of Ukrainian troops, indicating a looming “provocation.”

Kiev has deployed units trained in responding to the use of weapons of mass destruction, pre-positioning them to report a radiation leak and demonstrate a purported action to mitigate it, Russian military spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

The ministry said it expects a Ukrainian artillery unit to attack the plant on Friday from the city of Nikopol. “The blame for the consequences [of the strike] will be attributed to the Russian armed forces,” the statement said.

In a separate statement on Thursday, Igor Kirillov, who heads Russia’s Nuclear Biological and Chemical Defense Troops, said his directorate has modeled possible scenarios for a disaster at the Zaporozhye plant. A plume of radioactive materials from the site may reach Poland, Slovakia and Germany, he warned.

Russia has accused Ukraine of conducting frequent drone and artillery strikes against the nuclear power plant in the city of Energodar over the past few weeks. Kiev has denied responsibility and said Russian forces were attacking the plant to discredit Ukraine. Ukrainian officials have also claimed that Russia is using the Zaporozhye facility as a military base.

During the briefing, Konashenkov denied Ukrainian claims that Russia has deployed heavy weapons at the Zaporozhye plant and is attacking Ukrainian troops from the site. The only Russian troops at the facility are lightly armed guards providing physical security, the official said.

The ministry pledged to do its best to prevent damage to the nuclear facility.



— RT: Ukraine bombs nuclear waste storage site – official

August 16, 2022

Rockets also targeted the cooling systems of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant

The Ukrainian military has fired multiple rockets directly at coolant systems and nuclear waste storage site inside the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in Energodar, local government administration member Vladimir Rogov told Russian media on Tuesday. He warned that a successful strike may result in a radiation release equivalent to a “dirty bomb.”

“One of the guided missiles hit just ten meters” from the barrels with spent nuclear fuel,” Rogov told Soloviev Live“Others hit a bit farther away, 50 to 200 meters.”

Since the storage site is out in the open, any hit will result in the release of nuclear waste ranging from dozens to hundreds of kilograms and contamination of the area, the official explained. “In plain language, that would be like a dirty bomb,” said Rogov.

While the reactor itself can only be destroyed with a tactical nuclear weapon, the coolant systems and waste storage are far more vulnerable and damage to them could easily cause a disaster, the official said. Ukrainian troops have already fired “several dozen” heavy projectiles at the cooling systems, Rogov added. If they succeed in disabling such a system, it could produce a meltdown bigger than the 1986 catastrophe at Chernobyl.

Russian troops established control of the Zaporozhye NPP, Europe’s largest facility of the kind, early on in the course of military operations in Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine have been accusing each other of shelling the facility, warning that combat in the area could trigger a nuclear disaster. Russia accused Ukraine of launching artillery and drone strikes on the facility, denouncing the operations as “nuclear terrorism.” Ukrainian troops claimed that the Russians were shelling themselves to discredit Kiev.

Russian requests to the UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the site firsthand have been met with excuses that inspectors can only access the station via Kiev, and Ukraine can’t guarantee their safe passage.

On Monday, Rogov accused the UN of blocking the IAEA visit because it was covering for Kiev. If the inspectors actually showed up, he said, they would be forced to conclude that Ukraine and not Russia was shelling the power plant.

“It is obvious, it’s all been documented, and not only that, it’s also well known who is being supplied with American guided missiles. Obviously, not Russia, but the Zelensky regime,” he said.




— Mothers for Peace Puts PG&E on Notice: Don’t upend the agreement to close Diablo Canyon 

From Mothers for Peace

On July 26, 2022, Mothers for Peace notified Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) by letter of its legal jeopardy if it reneges on the 2016 agreement it forged with environmental organizations, labor, and surrounding communities (as well as approved by the state Legislature and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)) to retire the polluting and dangerously earthquake-vulnerable Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant by 2025.

California Governor Newsom’s fear that power outages will stain his reputation and damage his political aspirations cannot be assuaged by reviving the Diablo Canyon reactors. They will be available until 2024 and 2025 regardless. After that, their replacement will, as the state recognized in approving the settlement, improve both reliability and California’s emission challenges when compared to continued operation.  

Despite having provided no proof that Diablo Canyon is the safest or the most cost-efficient route to a reliable and clean electricity future, the Governor has persuaded a gullible U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to revise the rules allowing PG&E to qualify for a portion of $6 billion through the Civil Nuclear Credit program – part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The money was limited to plants in deregulated markets and shutting down due to economic factors. PG&E is neither. Newsom then persuaded California lawmakers to pass Assembly Bill 205, which will provide millions more California taxpayer dollars to subsidize the plant to keep operating past its license termination date. 

Linda Seeley, a spokesperson for Mothers for Peace, said, “Governor Newsom would, in essence, bribe PG&E with billions of dollars from federal and state taxpayers to break its agreement so he can burnish his reputation as the Governor who prevented power outages. Unfortunately, he is trading short-term headlines for a post-2025 future in which California electricity is less secure, less safe, less clean, and more expensive.”

Seeley continued, “Not only is this a false narrative – Diablo has never prevented power outages – but a dangerous one. Of the 92 reactors in the U.S., Diablo, which sits atop multiple earthquake faults, is at the top of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s list as the most likely to experience an earthquake larger than it is designed to withstand, potentially unleashing 3 million pounds of highly radioactive nuclear waste. A few billion dollars won’t be enough to complete the seismic or other upgrades needed to keep Californians safe. We believe PG&E is morally, ethically, and legally obligated to uphold its agreement to shut Diablo down.”

In the letter, MFP warns PG&E that if it breaks the agreement, it will not only put the company on legally thin ice, it will undermine the great work it and the settling parties have done to protect the residents of California and the environment. Closing the plant will:

  • greatly reduce the potential for a radiological disaster caused by an earthquake in the faults near the reactors;
  • resolve significant environmental concerns about the impacts of Diablo Canyon’s once-through cooling system on the marine environment;     
  • achieve even greater GHG emissions reductions at a far lower cost than would be achieved by continuing to run Diablo Canyon. 

The letter states: “These achievements would be upended at great cost to customers and/or taxpayers if PG&E walked away from the retirement agreement.” Further, the letter asserts that keeping the plant open would draw government resources from renewables and efficiency and discourage private investment in renewables and efficiency.

The letter also warns that should PG&E attempt to revive Diablo Canyon by submitting a new license renewal application to the NRC, MFP will insist that PG&E and the NRC fully comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements to evaluate the costs and benefits of the many alternatives to continued operation of Diablo Canyon. 

The letter outlines some critical issues likely to arise in the license renewal proceedings, including seismic studies, continued impact on marine life, cost and benefits of energy alternatives, management of aging equipment, issues with pressure vessel embrittlement, and decommissioning costs.

Diane Curran, Counsel to MFP, said, “In 2016, by deciding to retire the two Diablo Canyon units at their license expiration dates, PG&E resolved the extremely significant earthquake and environmental risks that would have been posed by continued operation of the reactors; and at the same time, it took major steps to ensure a renewable energy future and reduce electric rates to customers. If PG&E now re-submits the license renewal application, it will resurrect those serious safety and environmental issues and even add more problems that have accumulated in the six years since PG&E decided against license renewal. Those issues will have to be addressed before PG&E can be allowed to continue operating. The legal hurdles will be high.”

Curran added, “Plunging California energy supply and policy back into the decades of poisonous stalemate engendered by Diablo Canyon and by past PG&E-inspired controversies is the last thing that the state and PG&E need as they seize the opportunity to move into a safe and less expensive electricity future based on energy efficiency and renewable energy. To abandon the settlement agreement’s achievements would be environmental and economic folly – not just for PG&E, but for California citizens, taxpayers, ratepayers, and for the environment.” 


— Zaporozhye update: 11 plant employees injured in attack; UN says it has no first-hand knowledge

From RIA Novosti

Energodar authorities: 11 plant employees were injured in the attack of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the Zaporizhzhya NPP

ENERGODAR (Zaporozhye region), July 20 – RIA Novosti. Eleven employees of the Zaporozhye NPP were wounded on Monday during an attack by drones of Ukrainian troops, a spokesman for the Energodar military-civilian administration told RIA Novosti.

“During the attack on the Zaporozhye NPP on Monday, 11 employees were injured, four of them are now in serious condition. As of today, there is no data on the victims,” ​​the statement says.


Guterres office: UN does not have first-hand information about the attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant

UN, July 20 – RIA Novosti. The UN has no first-hand information about the attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the UN Secretary General, said at a briefing.

“I don’t have first-hand information on this,” Haq said when asked to comment on reports of a strike by Ukrainian forces on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant .

Earlier, a representative of the administration of the Zaporozhye region ,  Vladimir Rogov , said that three Ukrainian kamikaze drones attacked the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. According to him, the zone where the reactors at the Zaporozhye NPP are located was not affected.


— Ukraine: Kyiv regime blocked IAEA visit to Zaporozhye in June

From RIA Novosti

Kyiv blocked the visit of the IAEA delegation to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, said the CAA

IMFEROPOL, June 21 – RIA Novosti. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) remotely monitors the situation at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in Energodar, the personal arrival of the organization’s delegation is blocked by the Ukrainian side, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the main council of the military-civilian administration of the Zaporozhye region, told RIA Novosti.

“The IAEA remotely monitors the situation at the nuclear power plant. All the necessary data is transmitted to them, including on the level of radiation, generation. We invited the IAEA delegation to personally visit the nuclear power plant, but the Kyiv regime prevents this and blocks the visit,” Rogov told the agency.

According to him, the Kiev authorities are afraid that if the IAEA delegation arrives , illegal stocks of enriched uranium and plutonium accumulated during the time when the nuclear power plant was under the control of Kiev will be opened and become the property of the international community.

At the same time, Rogov stressed that the delegation could visit the nuclear power plant through the territory of  Russia , in particular Crimea, or the Donetsk People’s Republic .

“The land transport corridor is open and safe,” he said.

During the special operation, the Russian military took control of the Kherson region and the Azov part of the Zaporozhye region in southern Ukraine . Civil-military administrations were formed in the regions, the ruble was put into circulation, and Russian TV channels and radio stations began broadcasting. The regions announced plans to become subjects of the Russian Federation.


— Zaporozhye NPP: Ukraine Armed Forces attacked power plant 4 times July 20, damaged nearby building

The organization Strategic Stability reported July 20, 2022:

The authorities of city of Energodar reported four attacks by Ukrainian UAVs on the Zaporozhye NPP in a day on July 20th. This was reported to RIA Novosti by the press service of the city Administration. Energodar is located very close to this NPP.
It is reported that the last attack was recorded at 16:01 (Moscow time). The building located nearby was damaged.
The Administration of the Zaporozhye Region also reported that the reactor part of the NPP was not damaged as a result of the attack, the radiation level is normal.

What will be the reaction of the IAEA?

– – – –

The last IAEA bulletin on Ukraine was July 14. No IAEA response so far.


– – –

From RIA Novosti

Ukrainian attack drones attacked the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant

Zaporizhia authorities said that Ukrainian strike drones attacked the nuclear power plant

ENERGODAR (Zaporozhye region), July 20 – RIA Novosti. Ukrainian drones hit the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the press service of the Energodar administration told RIA Novosti.

“Today, Kyiv carried out an attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant with the help of strike UAVs,” the official said.

“According to preliminary information, the UAVs were equipped with warheads with an explosive mass calculated in kilograms in TNT equivalent,” Vladimir Rogov, a representative of the CAA , wrote on his Telegram channel .

At the same time, the reactor part of the nuclear power plant was not damaged.In a commentary to RIA Novosti, Rogov added that strikes on the station were carried out to intimidate workers. He expressed confidence that this goal would not be achieved.Earlier , the 

Armed Forces of Ukraine already tried to damage the object. On July 12, Ukrainian UAVs dropped several 120mm caliber mines on a building located next to the nuclear power plant. The roof and windows were damaged. In addition, an attempt to attack the power plant using drones was recorded on Monday, when 11 employees were injured, four of them in serious condition.

Russia has been conducting a military operation in Ukraine since February 24. President 

Vladimir Putin called its goal “the protection of people who have been subjected to genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years.” The Russian Ministry of Defense called the liberation of Donbass the main task .

In particular, in the DPR , the military occupies Volnovakha, a strategically important regional center south of Donetsk, Mariupol, the largest city on the coast of the Sea of Azov, and Svyatogorsk. In addition, in early July, with the capture of Lisichansk and the surrounding settlements, the allied forces controlled the entire territory of the LPR. During the special operation, the Russian military took control of the Kherson region and the Azov part of the Zaporozhye region in southern Ukraine, including the largest power plant in Europe. Civil-military administrations were formed in the regions, the ruble was put into circulation, and Russian TV channels and radio stations began broadcasting. The regions have announced plans to become Russian subjects.