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.
KB Home rolls out the big guns at the Simi Valley Planning Commission meeting deciding whether the developer gets a five-year extension on its permit to build in Runkle Canyon. An extension, however, may be exactly what the activists need because it won’t force KB Home’s hand with two years left on its present permit.
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.
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.
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?
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
“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.”
“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.”
The Simi Valley City Council indicated “support” for a new Runkle Canyon Supplemental Environmental Impact Report after the Radiation Rangers’ presentation at milestone meeting. More environmental tests were also ordered by State EPA of developer KB Home. DTSC’s Norm Riley said that he would review 2007 heavy metals tests of Runkle creek by the City and by the Radiation Rangers.
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.