DTSC’s Cypress office informed EnviroReporter that it had amended its Aerojet Chino Hills website to accurately reflect where the polluted 800-acre facility is located. Three weeks later, the DTSC Envirostor page hasn’t been touched. But that’s not the worst of it.
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.
“I sometimes wonder if we’re talking about the same place,” says the Reverend John Southwick of the Radiation Rangers. “Not only are DTSC’s orders to KB Home inadequate, unless the instructions for more radiation testing are significant; the department missed the most important stuff.”
“Dear Mr. Collins – without getting into the content of your story, I’d like to point out to you that your quote from Ms. Winger on our staff was so badly twisted out of context that it is utterly meaningless,” began the rant that we were about to read that confirmed to us what we have found wanting in the councilman’s office — competence and follow-through.
From all indications, Aerojet and Weston have done a good job finding 52 “munitions and explosives of concern” across a 39-acre area of the 800-acre facility, along with 70 pounds of munitions debris. The company used blind “seeding” of planted objects as a quality control measure and all of the seeded objects were found.
Any mechanism to not allow contaminated run-off from the site went down the drain with today’s council vote. The property will not need an EIR which would have, among many other things, determined the condition of the sewer system under Corporate Pointe at West Hills.
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?
There is an estimated one million cubic yards of contaminated soil on the site, which suffered the worst meltdown in American history in 1959. Over 74,000 truckloads of toxic cargo could rumble through the San Fernando Valley over the lifetime of the cleanup, scheduled for completion in 2017.
The Department of Toxic Substances Control is about to approve a Runkle Canyon cleanup response plan. Interestingly, the DTSC project manager for the KB Home/DTSC cleanup agreement, Norm Riley, said nothing about all the public comments he had received about the plan, including the Radiation Ranger response plan comments.
“What you don’t know is that in these secret negotiations that have gone on the last seven months, DOE, NASA, and Boeing have been resisting complying with that law and attempting to break the promise that they made to the Congress.”
It’s likely that the Radiation Rangers will attend and may have questions of the panel about our revelations that Boeing claimed that no offsite testing had been done in Runkle Canyon and that it didn’t border the 2,850-acre lab, when the very same report showed otherwise.
Just who is in charge of Runkle Canyon? “The Good Reverend John” Southwick had the same question when he saw a July 16 Ventura County Star article about the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, which is looking at a $1.5 million shortfall in its upcoming budget yet plans to drop $1.5 million on a “Runkle Park” with no mention of the pollution problems that led to a cleanup agreement between the state government and developer KB Home.
It appears that the location of this $46 million-and-counting cleanup of unexploded bombs, munitions and depleted uranium shell fragments has moved onto the Greg Norman Signature Golf Course at the Vellano Country Club!
Does the state toxic department’s $46 million Aerojet Chino Hills cleanup plan go far enough? Missing munitions, untested groundwater, depleted uranium issues and radiation possibly running off the Cold War-era weapons facility into the headwaters of the Santa Ana River are concerns.
Cal-EPA’s Department of Toxic Substances Control holds public meeting in Chino Hills to detail 10-year effort to clean up 800-acre former munitions site. DTSC Open House today in Chino Hills. Unexploded ordnance and toxic chemicals was scoured from soil at the 14-acre “Open Burn/Open Detonation Unit”. Questions remain about Aerojet groundwater and lack of data.
Historic meeting of the Department of Toxic Substances Control and citizens of the Simi and San Fernando valleys takes place January 28, 2009 in Simi Valley City Council Chambers. Committee to Bridge the Gap president, Dan Hirsch, rips Response Plan as “propoganda” and says 2004 Environmental Impact Report for Runkle Canyon, approved by City Council, was “fraudulent.”
EnviroReporter.com completed its analysis of thousands of pages of KB Home reports submitted to Department of Toxic Substances Control as part of Voluntary Cleanup Agreement signed in April. Other critical documents were also analyzed, revealing that radiological and chemical contamination in Runkle Canyon may actually be worse than previously publicly known.
Radiation Rangers, Rev. John Southwick and Frank Serafine, discovered a white substance covering a vast area of Runkle Canyon on March 26, 2008. The Department of Toxic Substances Control’s Norm Riley took a sample from the Rangers, had it tested at DTSC’s lab, and gave Serafine a “Rock with White Evaporate” report.
An historic agreement was enacted between Runkle Canyon developer KB Homes and Department of Toxic Substances Control on April 14, 2008. KB Homes pledged “full cooperation,” agreeing to supply DTSC with at least 41 extensive reports and documents for their inspection and pay for the $114,884 that this initial work will cost.
The Department of Toxics Substances Control has begun the massive cleanup of a Rocketdyne dump next to Sage Ranch State Park. A trio of environmentalists found a debris field in March 2007 that included blocks of asbestos and pipes lined with antimony. In June, DTSC’s Norm Riley accompanied the citizens to the dump and validated their concerns.
On October 12 Gov. Schwarzenegger signed SB-990, a bill championed by State Senator Sheila Kuehl to clean up Rocketdyne to Superfund standards. Boeing agreed to pay for remediation and to donate the lab to the State for parkland. Government oversight will be headed by DTSC, and transfer of the 2,850 acre lab to the State is prohibited until cleanup goals are completed.