— #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

— Santa Susanna Field Lab March 8 meeting on DOE’s broken cleanup promises and how to ensure full cleanup

From the Santa Susanna Field Laboratory Work Group

NEXT SSFL WORK GROUP MEETING
Wednesday, March 8, 6:30 p.m.
Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center
3050 E. Los Angeles Avenue, Simi Valley, CA 93065
The Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the SSFL cleanup in which every option proposed would breach the legally binding cleanup agreement it signed in 2010 to clean up all contamination at SSFL. DOE now proposes instead to leave between 39% and 99% of the contamination not cleaned up. DOE hearings this week demonstrated public anger at DOE proposing to break its cleanup commitments, but much more is needed to ensure that DOE will uphold its SSFL cleanup commitments.

Please join us on March 8 to learn more about:

  • The Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) agreement that DOE signed to clean up all contamination at SSFL, and how the DOE’s proposals violate it
  • The amounts of contamination that DOE is proposing leaving behind, and the risks associated with the contamination
  • Misinformation put forth by DOE to help it break out of the agreement
  • How the community can help ensure a full cleanup of SSFL

We look forward to seeing you on March 8th for some straight talk about SSFL.

PS. If you haven’t yet, please submit a comment demanding that DOE honor its commitment to clean up all contamination at SSFL, and ask your friends, family, and neighbors to do so as well.

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: 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

“LA’s Nuclear Secret” airs tonight 11 PM PDT, KNBC

From the Santa Susanna Work Group

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
Tonight, KNBC Channel 4 will air the first segment of a year long investigation into the Santa Susana Field Laboratory during the 11 pm news. A second segment will run Tuesday evening. Click here to view a trailer for the series. 
We are also excited to announce that:
  • The KNBC investigation will be screened at the SSFL Work Group meeting on Thursday, followed by discussion with KNBC investigative reporter Joel Grover. producer Matthew Glasser, and community members and former workers featured in the investigation.
  • Pete Noyes, veteran Los Angeles newsman and producer of the NBC series in 1979 reported by Warren Olney that first disclosed the partial meltdown at SSFL, will speak about his decades of experience covering the story.
Remarkable new information about Boeing’s own extraordinarily high cancer risk estimates for SSFL contamination and its plans to not clean up the vast majority of the polluted soil will also be revealed. 
DON’T MISS THIS IMPORTANT SSFL WORK GROUP MEETING!  
Thursday, September 24, 6:30 PM
Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center
3050 E. Los Angeles Avenue, Simi Valley, CA 93065
We hope you will join us for some straight talk about SSFL and what you can do to ensure that it is fully cleaned up.
Please visit the SSFL website for reports on past meetings with presentations and videos as well as other useful information about the contamination at the site and status of cleanup.

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


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 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.
SSFL Work Group · 1409 Kuehner Drive, #3 · Simi Valley, CA 93063 · USA

Nuclear amnesia — U.S. Senate testimony by Daniel Hirsch

Testimony of Daniel Hirsch,
President of Committee to Bridge the Gap
18 September 2008

Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

Full testimony:
http://www.committeetobridgethegap.org/pdf/Hirsch%20EPW%20Testimony.pdf

Excerpts:

SSFL [Santa Susanna Field Laboratory] is a good case study of problems at federal nuclear facilities throughout the country. The AEC/DOE [Atomic Energy Commission/Department of Energy] for decades operated these extraordinarily dangerous enterprises with little consideration for environmental regulation or protection of the public.They felt they were above the law, and the affected people nearby simply did not matter.

Corners were cut, rules bent, safety restrictions ignored. When accidents resulted, they were covered up.

Leaking high level waste tanks at Hanford, contamination from reactor accidents and improper waste disposal at INEEL, reprocessing failures at Savannah River, releases from Paducah and Oak Ridge and so many other nuclear sites—the story is always the same. Sloppy practices, inadequate attention to safety, lack of concern about the neighboring public, failure to be candid about problems—the result has been contamination that is amongst the biggest environmental insults this country has ever faced…

There are some who now argue for a revival of all things nuclear. They want scores more reactors. They want irradiated nuclear fuel to be reprocessed. They want breeder reactors to make even more plutonium.

But to do that, they need the country to experience a kind of nuclear amnesia.

They need us to forget the meltdown of the SRE [Sodium Reactor Experiment’, the explosion of the SL-1 [Idaho], the near-disaster of the N reactor [Hanford]. They need us to forget the immense contamination from the last time we tried reprocessing, the tens of billions of dollars it is costing to try to redress the damage from reprocessing at Hanford, Savannah River, and West Valley. They need us to forget the meltdown of the EBR-1 breeder in Idaho and Fermi I breeder, when we almost lost Detroit.

For those in the impacted communities from the last nuclear era, it all seems like nuclear déjà vu again. We hear echoes of all the old discredited claims again: that nuclear will be “too cheap to meter,” even as the industry asks for a hundred billion dollars in taxpayer subsidies and guarantees; that we will somehow find a solution to the radioactive waste problem, even though sixty-six years after the first reactor wastes were created no solution is in sight; that the risk of accident is non-existent, even as industry asks for immunity from liability from such accidents; that proliferation and terrorism risks can be ignored, even as we face a world in which countries are getting nuclear weapons from civil nuclear technology.

We hear the same old claims that nuclear is safe and clean;

yet our communities are still trying to get the government to clean up the radioactive contamination from all the past nuclear accidents, spills, and other releases from the last time we tried this.

It is said that those who forget the lessons of the past are condemned to repeat them, and repeat them, and repeat them. A sensible energy policy cannot depend upon collective amnesia. The last time we went down this road, it resulted in an unmitigated disaster for which we are still paying, in billions and billions of dollars of cleanup expenses, but more importantly, in poisoned land and water, and cancers in brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, cousins and nephews.

Let us learn from our mistakes rather than going blindly into repeating them. Otherwise, this deeply troubled nuclear past will indeed be prologue.