[KB Home’s Runkle Canyon development is now called Arroyo Vista at the Woodlands.]
D’Lanie Blaze runs The Aerospace.org which is dedicated to the men and women who worked at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. Blaze’s father worked at the site and is ill and they suspect it from being exposed to chemicals and radiation there. It is Blaze’s hope that all SSFL workers are compensated for their illnesses, not just the radiation workers from the lab’s Area IV.
Blaze is a successful graphic designer who creates eye-catching posters for the Aerospace Cancer Museum of Education, or ACME, in Chatsworth. One of her creations advertises a program at ACME tonight called “History of the Rocket Engine Test Stands – Santa Susana Field Laboratory.”
In Blaze’s Runkle Canyon Response Plan Comments, sent to former Department of Toxic Substances Control head of the cleanup at the controversial KB Home development, Norm Riley, she zeroes in on the developer’s choice of lab to retest the canyon for strontium-90:
Norm, you have mentioned that DTSC is, indeed, the oversight agency tasked with reviewing the response plan, and that DTSC will only approve it when you’re satisfied that it calls for the appropriate and objective scientific procedures, and that you’ll not use it otherwise.
There seems to be confusion among key players involved between the meaning of the words, “OBJECTIVE” and “QUALIFIED” (keeping in mind that the difference between these words may mean the difference between health and disease to many). There also seems to be a running trend among many integral to this issue to reach for detached recitations of memorized policies and procedures to somehow evade the use of common sense or applied ethics, upon which there is no basis to allow Dade-Moeller & Associates to perform work at Runkle Canyon that may be used to determine its safety. I would very much like to know WHO is convinced (besides Runkle Canyon LLC) that “Dade-Moeller & Associates” and “objectivity” can be used intelligently in the same sentence.
We first wrote about Dade Moeller in a January 19, 2006 Los Angeles CityBeat article “Hot Property” in which we had found out that the company and government had quietly retested Runkle Canyon and found dramatically lower strontium-90 readings.
Dr. Moeller’s degree is in nuclear engineering; not epidemiology or radiation biology. Despite his lack of qualification, he has recklessly and repeatedly taken the position of relaxing radiation standards, arguing that industry and agencies spend too much money on cleaning up contamination. He’s the science advisor to the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), an INDUSTRY-FUNDED organization that has fought for years against environmental restrictions on industry and attempted to downplay public concerns that toxins from industry are harmful to health. He has argued that non-nuclear risks are greater than the risk of developing cancer as a consequence of radiation exposure. He has no qualification upon which to base his assertions. While discussing the risks of radioactivity leaking from Yucca Mountain and the potential radiation exposures to the public, he claimed that he’s “just not worried about radiation exposure because of the likelihood that we’ll soon have a cure for cancer.” This defies logic as much as the last Administration’s claims that planetary abuse means nothing, because of the impending Rapture.
Dr. Moeller’s company has been a major contractor under Department of Energy (DOE) for numerous projects. DOE has, as we know, left us a legacy of deceit across America’s nuclear complex. With respect to SSFL, they’ve been far less than transparent and continue to drag their feet on myriad levels. Dr. Moeller worked as an engineer at the
Atomic Energy Commission – AEC (now the DOE) – nuclear weapons labs at Los Alamos and Oak Ridge. He was top official for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and served extensively on the Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste within the NRC from the early 1970’s thru the late 1980’s.
How soon we forget. Do you remember the condition of the nuclear complex during this time period? The lax safety standards across the country, the staggering waste production and disposal, the exposures of employees and residents, and the continued encouragement by the AEC/DOE and NRC to commit rampant violations of environmental law in the name of production? Are these not the very reasons we are standing together today, on behalf of SSFL and its surrounding areas?
Am I seeing this correctly? Dr. Moeller was undoubtedly paid quite well to play a role in putting sites like SSFL in this condition. Now, like Rocketdyne, he’s being paid – again – to assess damage he’s likely played a role in creating. And we’re calling his results objective?
Is there anything suspect at all about the Strontium-90 findings, which Dade-Moeller claims are 25% of NORMAL? Are we to believe that Rocketdyne did us a supreme environmental service by actually diminishing dangers, here at this nuclear facility where repeated incidents and unprecedented waste disposal occurred? Somehow, in defiance of LOGIC, Strontium-90 has begun miraculously disappearing…?
The strontium-90 information that Blaze is referring to came from our January 17, 2008 Ventura County Reporter exposé “Down the Test Tubes.” Dade Moeller’s results from a strontium-90 test of Runkle Canyon reported that the radiation was so low that it was just quarter of “background” or normal.
I’m back to the beginning here. DTSC is supposedly THE OVERSIGHT AGENCY. Oversight…. where? Not in this issue, apparently. It is very clear that the application of the requisite objectivity is missing. We are chasing our tails, holding meetings over something that should be CLEARLY decided – that Dade-Moeller & Associates fall far short of objectivity. If we are going to do this, we must do it right. We can not do it right if common sense, history, ethics, and a clear idea of what is at stake goes flying out the window, lost in inadequate and warped policy and procedural language that clearly did not anticipate such a blatant manipulation of efforts to capitalize through corrupt measures. Unless this is all just a big dog and pony show, and we’re going through the motions to no avail, I am confident that the DTSC will see the writing on the wall (which glows in the dark) and kick Dade-Moeller & Associates to the curb. The findings are more than suspect – they border on delusion – and it is very clear as to WHY. The fact that we’re even wasting time discussing this is astonishing to me.