The Promised Land

30,000 rocket tests have left the Santa Susana Field Laboratory polluted with chemicals. Radiation remains from dumping, burning and partial meltdowns in 1959 and 1964

30,000 rocket tests have left the Santa Susana Field Laboratory polluted with chemicals. Radiation remains from dumping, burning and partial meltdowns in 1959 and 1964

The long bitter battle of Rocketdyne was resolved on January 15, 2008 with the State negotiating the highest cleanup standards for the intensely-polluted Boeing lab. (See“The Promised Land.”)

In October 2007, Boeing signed a Letter of Intent with the State (click here to read the LOI summary.) Environmentalists subsequently pushed for Superfund listing in a December 19, 2007 letter to Gov. Schwarzenegger. However, realizing that Superfund listing could result in lower clean-up standards, the activists changed goals and tactics.

Negotiations culminated in a January 9, 2008 meetin with the environmentalists signing onto a deal with California EPA Secretary Linda Adams. Adams informed the U.S. EPA that the State will decline Superfund listing for now. Cal-EPA’s Department of Toxic Substances Control will lead on the site characterization and cleanup codified with U.S. EPA heading radiation work. In addition, State Sen. Sheila Kuehl will be relieved of the obligation to roll back provisions of her bill to clean up Santa Susana Field Lab to highest Superfund standards.

State Assemblymember Julia Brownley hails the agreement as an “amazing day.” The Radiation Rangers referred to the breakthrough as “Good News and Bad News,” noting that cancerous TCE was discovered in adjacent Runkle Canyon.

Related:

  • Click here for the heated exchange between Rocketdyne watchdog Dan Hirsch and Norm Riley at an October meeting arguing over cleanup standards issues.
  • Assemblyman Greg Smyth floated the idea of a 30,000-acre park in early December with a survey of constituents living close to Rocketdyne.
  • Filed Under: BlogRocketdyne

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