EnviroReporter.com was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend Steve Cain, senior environmental planner for the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, on December 16. In our last communications, Steve provided us with information crucial to an investigation that could impact the health and well-being of untold numbers of people, speaking volumes about Steve’s integrity. We will miss this delightful and dedicated man.
Soldiers’ tombstones are emerging from the muck of a biomedical nuclear and chemical dump on the Department of Veterans Affairs grounds in Brentwood, California. The VA says its long-promised $1 million investigation of the dump is still on yet it hasn’t noticed the gravestones. The dump is far larger than previously known. Adjacent Brentwood School’s athletic fields may have been impacted with heavy metal contamination with football field reportedly built over trench of syringes. School denies all and VA isn’t talking to LA Weekly or EnviroReporter.com.
A ghoulish graveyard of atomic tombstones, actually American military veterans’ headstones, were dumped in Brentwood’s toxic grave, according to a new LA Weekly article by Michael Collins. This online companion piece digs deeper into the biomedical nuclear and chemical dump on West Los Angeles VA land, land that stretches up under exclusive Brentwood School where headstones have also been found.
EnviroReporter.com experiences the tragedies and triumphs of California’s Inyo County and it’s timeless treasure, Death Valley National Park. This rowdy romp includes a cast of characters whose devotion to their earthly paradise is devilishly dangerous. Their sizzling tales shed light on the hopes and hazards of the hottest, lowest land in North America.
The U.S. EPA just announced new draft guidelines for the vapors of the toxic solvent, trichloroethylene or TCE, and they are four times stronger than they already were in recognition of the chemical’s dangers. This will make an alarming TCE groundwater crisis in Southern California even more important as the solvent spreads.
Recruiting men and women for aerospace and experimental nuclear reactor work in the 1950s for Rocketdyne was art, literally. The company used colorful brochures to attract the best and the brightest.
California EPA’s Department of Toxic Substances Control issues a new draft consent order regarding the cleanup of the old Rocketdyne Santa Susana Field Laboratory that now includes site owner Boeing and requires that the company, NASA and the Department of Energy adhere to the strictest cleanup standards passed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007. Environmental activists like Simi Valley’s Radiation Rangers are thrilled by this renewed effort to remediate the pollution left at the site contaminated by chemicals and radiation and home to America’s worst uncontained nuclear reactor meltdown.
After extensive investigation, EnviroReporter.com may have discovered the source of Runkle Canyon’s heavy metal nightmare which has stalled KB Home’s development plans for over two years – Rocketdyne’s old polluted Empire State Atomic Development Authority site sits on top of Burro Flats Fault which transports toxins down into the canyon that the Radiation Rangers want tested.
The old Bowl Test Facility has extremely contaminated soil like much of the rest of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. What sets this rocket testing area apart from the rest of Rocketdyne is that it duplicates the Nazi rocket test stand design for the terrifying V-2 rocket that killed thousands of civilians and soldiers in World War II. Today Bowl sits as a silent and deadly reminder of Southern California’s Nazi-influenced past.
Schwarzenegger’s condescension towards environmentalists and embrace of big business polluters, combined with a possible fatal flaw in Obama’s new greenhouse gases plan, virtually assures that Californians will have many more bad air days ahead.
The Obama Administration announces a bold new Environmental Protection Agency initiative to test previously ignored chemicals that may be harming humans and the environment. Bisphenol A, linked to obesity and cancer, brominated flame retardants, perfluorinated compounds and a host of other potential goo will be tested and regulated under the new plan, the most important of its kind since the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act. EnviroReporter.com wonders whether this leadership at the top will filter throughout the ranks of the federal and state EPA.
The 6,400 fireworks at Santa Monica Pier’s 100th birthday celebration September 9 fail to ignite much excitement. The tepid pyrotechnics get lost in toxic smoke which descends on the city, gassing thousands of unsuspecting yuppies with perchlorate and heavy metals.
Dawn Wilde and Mike make their way to Anaheim to see a spectacular AC-DC show. Fireworks and explosions fill the air with perchlorate and heavy metals that never smoke out the fans in the well-ventilated arena. The desert lovers are blown away by dirty deeds done dirt cheap.
Former Rocketdyne toxics chief, Norman E. Riley, blasts Department of Toxics Substances Control as an agency “where obfuscation, abdication of authority, collusion, and other contemptible behaviors currently trump honesty and integrity.” In a fiery e-mail to EnviroReporter.com, Riley admits misleading community regarding Runkle Canyon and that no public comments about cleanup plan were used.
Fifty years after America’s worst nuclear meltdown 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory’s “Sodium Reactor Experiment,” the government’s just-sacked head of lab remediation says the new Rocketdyne cleanup law is too strict and that site owner Boeing is going to sue the State over the standards. New Miller-McCune article and exclusive interviews.
Today begins the second annual Sputnikfest in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. In 1962, a fiery chunk of space debris from a Soviet Sputnik satellite shot across Canada and eight pounds of it slammed into 8th and Park where the wacky festival takes place. Turns out that my very own alien, D-bot, has her optical sensors set on becoming “Miss Space Debris Queen of all that is Sputnik.”
The Coca complex was involved with several missile programs including Navaho, Atlas, J-2, Saturn V second Stage Battleship (five J-2s), Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), and Delta IV Expendable Launch Vehicle Tanks. Within the 141-acre Group 4, which Coca Area shares with Delta Area and the Propellant Load Facility, there are a number of chemicals that Boeing and NASA are responsible for remediating. They include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including trichloroethylene or TCE, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), metals, and dioxins.
This ethereal photograph from December 12, 1960 shows a rocket test at the Bravo test stand on NASA’s part of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. The golden tones and aquamarine color make this previously unpublished photograph one of the most awe-inspiring images we’ve ever seen of a rocket test at the lab.
Will new Department of Toxic Substances Control leadership in Runkle Canyon mean that DTSC will actually take citizen and media concerns seriously over development of this property that borders the nuclear area of Rocketdyne? EnviroReporter.com analyzes what the department has previously ignored as we conclude our seven-part series “Railroading Runkle Canyon?”
When Runkle Canyon developer KB Home gave the Department of Toxic Substances Control 41 environmental reports on its property, EnviroReporter.com analyzed each one and presented its 28 pages of findings to DTSC in July 2008. The department ignored most of these analyses which we subsequently submitted to DTSC in February 2009 as public comments to the Runkle Canyon Response Plan. Will the department again ignore these questions and comments now that there is new leadership for the Runkle Canyon site?
Sixty years ago today, the Soviet Union detonated their first atomic weapon, “Joe-1” which was the size of “Fat Man” that America dropped on Nagasaki four years before, killing 80,000 people. The biggest Soviet bomb ever was 2,273 times bigger! Despite the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, don’t expect an end to the threat of nuclear Armageddon anytime soon.
D’Lanie Blaze questions developer KB Home’s use of controversial lab Dade Moeller & Associates to retest Runkle Canyon for strontium-90. Blaze reminds then-Department of Toxic Substances Control project head, Norm Riley, that Dade Moeller himself claimed that he’s “just not worried about radiation exposure because of the likelihood that we’ll soon have a cure for cancer.” Blaze burns DTSC over issue and questions if the Response Plan is a “dog and pony show.”
Aerospace Cancer Museum of Education’s founder and director Bill Bowling says that the Runkle Canyon cleanup plan is inadequate and doesn’t address toxic trichlorethylene being found on the property. Bowling calls out city of Simi Valley for not caring about issue and says that developer KB Home has a questionable environmental track record including building on land without removing unexploded bombs from a former bombing range.
“This used to be marsh and reeds,” said Dr. James Yamazaki, 93, as we pass by Maltman Avenue on Wilshire Boulevard approaching Koreatown. “Now look at all these big buildings!” I was chauffering Yamazaki and his wife of 65 years, Aki, to the Japanese American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles where he would speak about the human toll of nuclear warfare and the specific vulnerability of children to the effects of these weapons.
The Radiation Rangers ask why it sounds like the cleanup plan for Runkle Canyon is being decided without public input by the Department of Toxic Substances Control. Considering the stakes in the controversial canyon, where KB Home hopes to build 461 residences, the Rangers are demanding answers. Special week-long report.