— #ValleyVisits: California Sen. Bob Hertzberg thanks Rocketdyne, ignores their toxics and radioactive contamination of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties

Sen. Bob Hertzberg, nicknamed “Huggy” by colleagues, says he thinks in terms of “the big picture”. [1]

And he visited Aerojet Rocketdyne April 28:

First stop of the day on my #ValleyVisits tour…thank you for telling us about how you bring #SFVJobs. [1a]

But the “big picture” of the extensive contamination done by Rocketdyne at the former Santa Susana Field Laboratory near Simi Valley doesn’t seem to bother Hertzberg .[2]

WikiMap

Hertzberg has been strangely quiet when experts talk about the devastating impacts of Rocketdyne’s toxic chemicals, like TCE and perchlorate, migrating off-site. Massive amounts of chemicals were burned, dumped into unlined pits, dumped in ravines, and trucked away and dumped in the ocean. These chemicals are spreading and contaminating drinking water wells across the valley and run-off into both Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.

Then there is the massive radioactive contamination from Rocketdyne. In 1959 a serious nuclear accident at SSFL resulted in high levels of radioactivity being vented for weeks, particularly affecting San Fernando Valley residents as well as those of Simi Valley, but without any public notice or evacuations. This was the first of several nuclear accidents there which were kept secret. Radioactive waste was also continually burned and dumped, including plutonium. High levels of radioactive contamination remain on and in the soil. Where is Hertzberg? He isn’t hugging the people of Simi Valley and neighboring communities who are dealing with this issue.

In 2013, a report was published that SSFL clean-up officials were sending highly radioactive waste from the Rocketdyne site to ordinary recycling facilities or dumping it with the knowledge and cooperation of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the California Department of Public Health.[3]

Where was Hertzberg?

In 2014, DOE finally agreed to clean up the contamination, and DTSC promised to enforce that. However, now DOE wants to leave 39-99% of the contamination in place, and it is unclear if DTSC will stand by its promise and compel a complete cleanup.[4] If the contamination is not cleaned up, it will cause growing, generational impacts to people and wildlife – a very, very big picture.

Where is Sen. Hertzberg?

Hertzberg has said:

Get it done or get the heck out of the way is my philosophy. I start out as a holistic thinker. I’m the big picture, holistic thinker…It really boils down to the issue of getting the work done. I am sick and tired of the noise. Sick and tired of the empty promises.” [5]

Get it done”? Get what done?

Not the Santa Susana Field Laboratory cleanup. Not accountability. Not recompense for damaged lives. Not standing up for the rights of the public to safety in their homes and in their communities. Not creating new rules for how multinational corporations and public agencies operate in California.

Not leading.

We the public are sick and tired of empty promises, Sen. Hertzberg.

Protect the public, and their health and safety.

Or get the heck out of the way.

—-

Sen. Hertzberg’s website: http://sd18.senate.ca.gov/

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hertzberg

[1a] https://twitter.com/SenateHertzberg/status/858031069337178112

[2] http://data.nbcstations.com/national/KNBC/la-nuclear-secret/

http://www.rocketdynecleanupcoalition.org/files/Hirsch%20EPW%20Testimony.pdf

[3] http://committeetobridgethegap.org/SSFLDemolitionAndDisposalStudy.pdf

[4] http://www.rocketdynecleanupcoalition.org/doe-ssfl-eis/

https://youtu.be/NESH4S4ozdQ

https://youtu.be/z51P18Mi_ac

[5] http://www.laweekly.com/news/bob-hertzberg-interview-transcript-2139535

Also:

https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2017/04/21/decades-later-industry-and-regulators-fail-to-clean-up-former-rocket-test-site/   

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/investigations/LA-County-Demands-Full-Clean-Up-of-Toxic-Site-Above-the-Valleys-416174833.html

http://www.enviroreporter.com/sinsofrocketdyne/all/1/

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/investigations/LA-Nuclear-Secret-Behind-the-Story-328030031.html

http://www.ssflworkgroup.org/ssfl-offsite-contamination-data-presented-at-june-18-work-group-meeting/June 18, 2014

http://www.ssflworkgroup.org/Santa Susana Field Laboratory Working Group

http://committeetobridgethegap.org/ — Committee to Bridge the Gap

www.rocketdynecleanupcoalition.org — Rocketdyne Cleanup Coalition

— Action needed tomorrow at Los Angeles Board of Supervisors on Santa Susana Field Lab cleanup

From SSFL Working Group

March 13, 2017

The Dept. of Energy’s Broken Promises-
The Fight for Full Cleanup Continues

Action Needed Tomorrow- Come and Testify!
LA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

Tuesday, March 14, 9:00 a.m.
Board Hearing Room 381B
Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration

550 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

We need you to attend the LA County Board of Supervisors meeting tomorrow to testifyin support of Supervisors Kuehl and Barger.  They are proposing a resolution that demands the Dept. of Energy (DOE) live up to the cleanup standards set by the 2010 cleanup agreement and condemns their current Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for violating it.  We will be meeting there at 9:00 AM.  See address listed above.

If you attended the March 8 meeting, PLEASE MAIL IN YOUR COMMENT CARD.
At the meeting you received a card on which to write your comment on the DOE’s Draft EIS.  If you have not done so already, please finish writing your comment and mail it in.
The deadline for commenting has been postponed to April 13th.  
The address is already printed on the card.  It requires First Class postage (either $0.49 or a Forever stamp).

Thank you to all who attended the March 8th SSFL Work Group meeting- we were delighted to see so many new attendees as well as familiar faces and a few representatives of our elected officials.

A special thanks to Melissa Bumstead, and the other parents and families of the SSFL community inflicted by pediatric cancer, for hosting a beautiful candlelight vigil before the meeting to raise awareness about the health hazards of the contamination migrating offsite into our neighborhoods.

Thank you also to Mohsen Nazemi, Deputy Director of the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s Brownfields and Environmental Restoration Program, for coming and ensuring the community that the Dept. of Toxic Substances Control is committed to enforcing the 2010 cleanup agreement to background that the Dept. of Energy signed.

What You Can Do

Attend the LA County Board of Supervisors meeting tomorrow at 9AM and testify in support of the resolution on SSFL.

Mail in the comment card for the DOE’s DEIS you received if you attended the March 8th Work Group meeting.

Submit a comment demanding that the DOE clean up all contamination at SSFL.

Ask your friends, family, and neighbors to also submit a comment and attend the DOE hearings. Please forward this email and share on social media.

Background

The Department of Energy (DOE) is attempting to break its obligation to clean up all of the nuclear and chemical contamination at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), proposing instead to leave between 30 -99% of the contamination not cleaned up. That is dangerous and unacceptable!

All of the alternatives directly violate the Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) that DOE signed in 2010, which committed them to clean up all detectable contamination. DOE’s DEIS also fails to acknowledge that DOE as the polluter doesn’t have the authority to decide how much of the mess that it made is going to get cleaned up. The decision rests with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, not DOE.

Click here to learn more about key problems with DOE’s DEIS. Click here to read the DEIS itself.

To learn more visit www.ssflworkgroup.org or contact us at info@ssflworkgroup.org

— Los Angeles: Public meetings on SSFL cleanup — Tell Dept. of Energy to clean up Santa Susana contamination, not leave it behind!

From the Santa Susana Field Laboratory Work Group
February 13, 2017

“Unless people rise up and our elected officials act strongly to enforce the promises, people in neighboring communities will be at perpetual risk from migrating radioactivity and toxic chemicals.”  Read New Ventura County Star Op-Ed: Santa Susana Field Lab Broken Promises

The Department of Energy (DOE) is attempting to break its obligation to clean up all of the nuclear and chemical contamination at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), proposing instead to leave between 34 -94% of the contamination not cleaned up. That is dangerous and unacceptable!

Urgent action is needed to protect communities near SSFL!

1. Attend one or both of the upcoming DOE hearings and voice your concerns.

  • Saturday, February 18, 2017, 9:00 a.m. – 12 p.m. Grand Vista Hotel, 999 Enchanted Way, Simi Valley, CA (Open house from 9 – 9:30 a.m.)
  • Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Airtel Plaza Hotel, 7277 Valjean Avenue, Van Nuys, CA (Open house from 6 – 6:30 p.m.)

2. Submit a comment demanding that DOE clean up all contamination at SSFL.

3. Ask your friends, family, and neighbors to also submit a comment and attend the DOE hearings. Please forward this email and share on social media.
Background

The DOE recently released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that proposes three alternative cleanup plans for its operational area of SSFL, which is where most of the nuclear contamination is located. The three alternatives would respectively leave up to 34%, 86% or up to 94% of the contamination on site, where it can continue to migrate and put nearby communities at risk.

All of the alternatives directly violate the Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) that DOE signed in 2010, which committed them to clean up all detectable contamination. DOE’s DEIS also fails to acknowledge that DOE as the polluter doesn’t have the authority to decide how much of the mess that it made is going to get cleaned up. The decision rests with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, not DOE.

Click here to learn more about key problems with DOE’s DEIS. Click here to read the DEIS itself. Again, it is critical that as many people as possible attend the DOE hearings and submit comments demanding a full cleanup of SSFL. Thank you!.

The Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), also known as Rocketdyne, is a former nuclear and rocket engine testing facility that is contaminated with radiological and chemical pollutants. The 2,850 acre site is near Simi Valley, Chatsworth, Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, West Hills, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Oak Park, Calabasas, and Thousand Oaks. For over twenty-five years, the Santa Susana Field Laboratory Work Group has served to keep the community informed about the contamination at SSFL and assure it is thoroughly cleaned up.

To learn more visit www.ssflworkgroup.org or contact us at info@ssflworkgroup.org

— Los Angeles: DOE breaks agreement to clean up Santa Susana Field Lab contamination; may leave behind 94%

For action and upcoming meetings, go to http://www.ssflworkgroup.org

From the Ventura County Star

February 11, 2017

Our region has just been hit by two significant events that affect the health of our community.

While we have long awaited some relief for our drought, torrential rainstorms inundated the Santa Susana Field Lab, one of the most polluted places in the state. Runoff from far lesser storms in recent years resulted in more than 200 instances in which highly toxic and radioactive contaminants migrated off site at levels in excess of state pollution limits, and one can only imagine the effect these recent large storms have had.

Around the same time, the Department of Energy broke its solemn cleanup commitments and announced it would leave as much as 94 percent of the soil contaminated at the field lab site not cleaned up. Unless people rise up and our elected officials act strongly to enforce the promises, people in neighboring communities will be at perpetual risk from migrating radioactivity and toxic chemicals.

The field lab housed 10 nuclear reactors, of which at least four suffered accidents, including a partial nuclear meltdown in 1959. There was a factory for fabricating reactor fuel rods out of plutonium, perhaps the most dangerous substance on earth. In a “hot lab” there, highly irradiated nuclear fuel rods shipped in from around the nation were cut apart, with several radioactive fires.

It illegally burned radioactive and chemically hazardous wastes in open air pits, by shooting barrels of the waste with rifles to ignite them, with the toxic plumes blown over surrounding communities. It conducted tens of thousands of rocket tests, many using very dangerous fuels, and then flushed out the engines with a million gallons of toxic solvents that were allowed to simply percolate into the soil and groundwater.

The result of this shameful violation of basic environmental protections is widespread contamination of groundwater, surface water and soil with strontium-90, cesium-137, plutonium-239, perchlorate, PCBs, dioxins, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds and much more. And because the site sits in the hills overlooking more than 500,000 people within 10 miles, the contamination wants to flow off site to the places and people below.

The site has been fined more than $1 million in recent years for allowing pollutants to migrate off the property at levels deemed unsafe for people or the environment. And as long as the site doesn’t get cleaned up, that will continue.

These awful materials cause cancers including leukemia, genetic defects, neurological and developmental disorders and other health problems. A federally funded study by Dr. Hal Morgenstern of the University of Michigan found a greater than 60 percent increase in key cancers in people living near the site compared with people living farther away. Another government-funded study by a team from UCLA led by Dr. Yoram Cohen concluded that numerous pollutants from the site had migrated off site at levels in excess of EPA levels of concern.

For these reasons, the community was joyous in 2010 when the Department of Energy and NASA signed legally binding agreements with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control requiring all contamination that could be detected in the soil to be cleaned up by 2017.

It is now 2017 and the cleanup hasn’t even begun. And the DOE just issued a draft environmental impact statement breaking the 2010 cleanup agreement and saying it will only consider three options, none of which comply with its past commitments.

One would leave 34 percent of the contamination in place. A second would leave 86 percent. And the third would walk away from a staggering 94 percent of the contaminated soil, just leaving it in place. The 2010 agreement barred any consideration of leave-in-place alternatives.

The DOE has essentially thumbed its nose at California. Even if the cleanup agreement didn’t exist, the decision on how much toxic pollution to clean up doesn’t rest with the polluter, but with the state regulator. The DOE can’t decide to just walk away from most of the contamination.

But the state has been remarkably silent so far in response to this assault on its authority. Indeed, it has in its own actions undercut the cleanup agreement it signed. Toxic Substances Control is years late on its own environmental impact report and has been busy undermining the cleanup in other ways as well.

In 2010, we were promised that, with a couple of narrow exceptions, all of the soil contamination that could be detected would be cleaned up. Now it appears likely than close to none will be, and the people in the area will continue to be at perpetual risk from migrating radioactive and toxic contamination — unless they speak out now, loud and clear, and their elected representatives do the same.

Robert Dodge, a family physician in Ventura, serves on the boards of Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions. Daniel Hirsch is director of the Program on Environmental and Nuclear Policy at UC Santa Cruz and president of the Committee to Bridge the Gap.

 

http://www.vcstar.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/02/11/dodge-hirsch-santa-susana-field-lab-broken-promises/97766134/

Posted under Fair Use Rules.