— NASA scam declares SSFL exempt from cleanup

From Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility – PEER

For Immediate Release:  Thursday, October 1, 2020
Contact:  Jeff Ruch (510) 213-7028; Kirsten Stade kstade@peer.org

Nuclear Cleanup Scam on Supremely Contaminated Site

Historic Designation for Santa Susana Lab Excuses Remediation Obligations

Washington, DC — One of the nation’s most highly contaminated sites may escape cleanup by its designation as a cultural district for Native American artifacts, according to formal comments filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  This attempted maneuver seeks to expand a small loophole in a legally binding cleanup agreement to exempt the entire nearly 3,000-acre highly contaminated site, which includes a partial nuclear reactor core meltdown, from long overdue remediation.

Santa Susana Field Laboratory is a former nuclear reactor and rocket testing facility, home to a partial nuclear meltdown and numerous other radioactive accidents and toxic chemical releases.  It is located in Simi Valley, Ventura County, California, 30 miles northwest of downtown LA.

After a prolonged, tortured history, the site is now under a legally binding cleanup agreement requiring restoration of the site to its condition before it was polluted. There is a very narrow exemption for “Native American artifacts that are formally recognized as Cultural Resources.”

NASA, one of the site’s owners, has nominated the entire Santa Susana site as a Cultural District and declaring all 2,850 acres of soil, much of it extremely contaminated, exempt from cleanup as a purported “Native American artifact.”  This proposal adding the entire Santa Susana site to the National Register of Historic Places is now before the National Park Service.

“This scam by NASA has nothing to do with preserving cultural heritage but everything to do with weaseling out of expensive cleanup responsibilities,” stated Pacific PEER Director Jeff Ruch, noting that the cleanup was supposed to have been completed by the end of 2017, but has yet to begin. “There no good reason why this designation couldn’t wait until after the cleanup was completed.”

The PEER comments also point out that the NASA nomination –

  • Falsely claims designation will keep “the area in a state similar to when [tribal] ancestors used and occupied the area.”
  • Omits that there are already protections for identified cave paintings and grinding stones but this plan would artificially increase by a factor of more than 200 the protected area’s size to precisely match the boundaries of the entire 2,850-acre Santa Susana site; and
  • Glosses over the formal opposition of Ventura County, a fact which, by law, should preclude designation.

“Failure to clean Santa Susana leaves surrounding communities at risk of toxic migration,” added Ruch, pointing out wildfires and other natural events can spread contaminants far offsite.  “Nuclear and chemical waste are not cultural artifacts we want preserved.”

###


Read the PEER comments

View the opaque Federal Register Notice

https://www.peer.org/nuclear-cleanup-scam-on-supremely-contaminated-site/

— 13 February 2020: Santa Susana Field Laboratory cleanup crisis meeting

CRITICAL SSFL WORK GROUP MEETING
“SSFL CLEANUP CRISIS: FINDING A PATH FORWARD” 

Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center
3050 E. Los Angeles Avenue, Simi Valley, CA 93065

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2020
6:30 p.m. vigil, 7:00 pm meeting
Seating is limited – 

Click here to RSVP today

Guest speaker: CalEPA Jared Blumenfeld

Description

Boeing, the Dept. of Energy, and NASA signed agreements to fully clean up all of SSFL’s contamination by 2017, but the cleanup hasn’t begun. Recently, all three have indicated their intent to break their cleanup agreements and leave most of the contamination on the site permanently. The cleanup is now at an impasse, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

California EPA Secretary Jared Blumenfeld will discuss cleanup efforts on February 13 at a meeting of the SSFL Work Group. The SSFL Work Group was founded in 1989 to educate and engage the community, government agencies, and elected officials in the cleanup. The meeting will include a public Q&A with a panel of experts, community members, and elected officials.

SSFL Work Group Meeting
“SSFL Cleanup Crisis: Finding a Path Forward”
Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center
Thursday, February 13, 2020
6:30 PM Candlelight vigil
7:00 PM SSFL Work Group Meeting

Hosted by SSFL Work Group, Physicians for Social Responsibility- Los Angeles, Committee to Bridge the Gap, Rocketdyne Cleanup Coalition and Parents Against SSFL.

The 2018 Woolsey fire at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (VIDEOS)

Legacy of a 60 Year Old Meltdown

Journalist Harvey Wasserman and Denise Duffield, Associate Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility- L.A. discussed the  Woolsey Fire, its implications, and the California and corporate refusals to clean-up the SSFL site, endangering residents daily, in these excerpts from the December 2018 meeting of Americans for Democratic Action – Southern California, in Culver City.

The Woolsey fire started at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory site, and based on helicopter sightings, was likely started by a transformer malfunction and fire at a Southern California Edison substation located there.

———————————————–

Additional resources
After The Dust Settles: A Woolsey Fire Sampling Update
https://www.fairewinds.org/woolsey-fire-blog/after-the-dust-settles 

PSR-LA https://www.psr-la.org/

Solartopia.org

Denise Duffield
PSR-LA Associate Director
dduffield (at) psr-la.org

Legacy of a Meltdown
By James Heddle & Mary Beth Brangan – EON
https://nonukesca.net/legacy-of-a-meltdown/

Santa Susana Field Laboratory: NASA releases draft supplemental environmental statement covering soil cleanup. Comments due Dec. 9

From the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

NOTE: The Federal Register notice does not give a due date for comments. It says the deadline is 45 days after the date of the Federal Register notice which was October 25. If you wish to submit comments, confirm the due date with NASA at the email address below.

Posted in the Federal Register
October 25, 2019

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/10/25/2019-23364/notice-of-availability-of-the-draft-supplemental-environmental-impact-statement-seis-for-soil

Click to access 2019-23364.pdf

Notice of Availability of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for Soil Cleanup Activities at Santa Susana Field Laboratory

AGENCY:

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

ACTION:

Notice of Availability of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to the March 2014 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for demolition and environmental cleanup activities for the NASA-administered portion of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), Ventura County, California. This SEIS will cover the soil cleanup activities at NASA’s portion of SSFL.

SUMMARY:

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as amended, the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA, and NASA’s NEPA policy and procedures, NASA has prepared a Draft SEIS for soil cleanup activities at SSFL in Ventura County, California. The Draft SEIS has been prepared because there are significant new circumstances relevant to environmental concerns bearing on the proposed action and its impacts. Specifically, the estimated quantity of soil required to be removed has increased substantially since the publication of the 2014 FEIS. This increase has the potential to alter the environmental impacts that were evaluated in the 2014 FEIS. For this reason, NASA has determined it is appropriate to prepare a supplement to the 2014 FEIS.

DATES:

Interested parties are invited to submit comments, preferably in writing, within forty-five (45) calendar days from the date of publication in the Federal Register of the Notice of Availability of the Draft SEIS on October 25, 2019.

ADDRESSES:

Comments submitted by mail should be addressed to Peter Zorba, SSFL Project Director, 5800 Woolsey Canyon Road, Canoga Park, CA 91304. Comments may be submitted via email to msfc-ssfl-eis@mail.nasa.gov. The Draft SEIS may be reviewed at the following locations:

1. Simi Valley Library, 2969 Tapo Canyon Road, Simi Valley, CA 93063, Phone: (805) 526-1735.

2. Platt Library, 23600 Victory Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91367, Phone: (818) 340-9386.

3. California State University, Northridge Oviatt Library, 18111 Nordhoff Street, 2nd Floor, Room 265, Northridge, CA 91330, Phone: (818) 677-2285.

4. Department of Toxic Substances Control, 9211 Oakdale Avenue, Chatsworth, CA 91311, Phone: (818) 717-6521.

The Draft SEIS is also available on the internet at https://www.nasa.gov/​feature/​environmental-impact-statement-eis-for-demolition-and-environmental-cleanup-activities. The Federal Register Notice of Intent to prepare the Draft SEIS, issuedin the Federal Register on April 5, 2019, is also available on the internet at: https://ssfl.msfc.nasa.gov/​news#news20190405.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Peter Zorba, SSFL Project Director, by email at msfc-ssfl-information@mail.nasa.gov. Additional information about NASA’s SSFL site, the proposed soil cleanup activities, and the associated planning process and documentation (as available) may be found on the internet at https://ssfl.msfc.nasa.gov or on the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) website at https://www.dtsc.ca.gov/​SiteCleanup/​Santa_​Susana_​Field_​Lab/​.

For the full notice:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/10/25/2019-23364/notice-of-availability-of-the-draft-supplemental-environmental-impact-statement-seis-for-soil

— Massive California fire started at radioactive Santa Susana Field Laboratory site, Physicians for Social Responsibility warns of radioactive releases

From Physicians for Social Responsibility, Los Angeles
November 12, 2018

See website for more photos

Massive Woolsey Fire Began On Contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory, Close to Site of Partial Meltdown

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