Boeing’s huge lobbying war chest, one of the five highest corporate lobbyist coffers in the country, has turned Cal-EPA’s Department of Toxic Substances Control into a “captured agency” say Rocketdyne activists. Community members say DTSC appeared to fold in a lawsuit brought by Boeing over Santa Susana Field Laboratory, not challenging false statements in litigation. Encouraged by this backpedaling, another SSFL polluter, NASA, tries to back out of cleanup agreement which is greeted with citizen outrage. Boeing plans to leave lethal strontium-90 in its dirt at 430 to 43,000 times background where its astroturf collaborators claim no more cleanup is needed. The amounts of carcinogens that could be left behind will be staggering if Boeing succeeds in selling SSFL as “no significant risk to human health today” as Gary Polakovic’s plan puts it.
Boeing greenwashes the polluted Rocketdyne site above the San Fernando Valley by pushing for and offering to fund an “astroturf” Community Advisory Group (CAG) and, with the help of the Department of Toxic Substances Control, eliminates the long-established SSFL Interagency Work Group. E-mails and interviews detail how Boeing and DTSC put all their support in the CAG petitioner, Christina Walsh, who has threatened, harassed and libeled community members, elected officials and the media. With other astroturf targets like open-space advocate John Luker, friend to Boeing meltdown makeover PR flack Gary Polakovic, the greenwashing of Rocketdyne is nearly complete.
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.
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.
Walsh’s 13 pages of “Comments on the Runkle Canyon Response Plan” include photographs and maps. This well-crafted document clearly illustrates Walsh’s concerns about the canyon. Her expertise and ability to crunch numbers, analyze data, and conceptualize how it all stacks up in the grand scheme of things are remarkable.
As we continue our “Railroading Runkle Canyon?” series, the Department of Toxic Substances Control replaces Rocketdyne and Runkle Canyon’s cleanup project manager criticized by the Radiation Rangers in the series. Surprise move shocks community reeling from simultaneous revelations that Boeing has not signed off on the cleanup agreement that will cost hundreds of millions.
“What is the purpose of us going to all that work trying to get to the bottom of this if it’s going to be ignored?” said “The Good Reverend John” Southwick, one of the Radiation Rangers. “This is serious business. Each and every one of our points is based in sound science and must be addressed by the department when DTSC gives KB Home the marching orders to clean up Runkle Canyon.”
Some of these folks are sparkling writers like Joan Trossman Bien, D’Lanie Blaze, and Margery Brown. Others are devoted activists like Christina Walsh and Bill Bowling, people who are making the continued development and expansion of EnviroReporter.com so exciting.
Now why Boeing would mischaracterize the number of trucks that will be heading down into the San Fernando Valley with no assurance of the environmental protections that DTSC used at Sage Ranch? And why would Boeing not volunteer to have mandatory environmental protections during this massive operation?