While activists march on Sacramento with demands to “Stop Fracking with California,” and historic chemical legislation comes to the United States Senate floor, EnviroReporter.com‘s Michael Collins takes on Fracking Chemical Cocktail and Trichloroethylene in The Toxies Tapes. More brawl than interview, TCE clobbers Collins who defiantly jousts with the volatile organic compound. The reporter then truly meets his match in “Frackie” where the chemistry sparks and the subject turns to drilling and fracking.
Fracking Chemical Cocktail heats up the Third Annual Toxies Awards for Bad Chemical Actors at the Silent Movie Theatre in Hollywood where the worst of the worst chemicals are honored for the harm they do to the environment. With new toxins to dishonor for the deadly work, the Toxies come through with a wild and wicked show that has to be the dirtiest awards celebration in Tinseltown.
An LA Weekly investigation finds the cancer-causing chemicals trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) being used as the base of pepper sprays sold in California with no Prop. 65 warnings. Sprays with these carcinogens are being sold all over the country. True Value and Do It Best hardware stores sell PCE-based pepper sprays at the Southern California stores LA Weekly investigated.
California EPA’s Department of Toxic Substances Control, in a sleight of land, has negotiated a deal with KB Home that would leave the 1,595-acre property virtually unremediated for radioactive and chemical contamination while the adjacent 2,850-acre Santa Susana Field Laboratory would be extensively cleaned up to background levels. Some Simi Valley residents, led by the Radiation Rangers, are wondering why what’s good enough for Rocketdyne isn’t good enough for Runkle.
Just days before the 82nd Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, the First Annual Toxies Awards took place at the legendary Egyptian Theatre across the boulevard. A rogue’s gallery of “bad actors” with names like Trichloroethylene, Hydrofluoric Acid and Toluene competed for Toxies in this first-ever awards ceremony celebrating the worst of the 85,000 chemicals we come into contact with on a regular basis. One bad actor, Perchlorate, was a sleak silver rocket girl with thrusters for feet, so beautiful as fireworks, she was ‘the chemical that launched a thousand rockets’ including mine.
EnviroReporter.com discovers a pathway for pollutants from rocket test stands into the soil and groundwater of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. In the early 1950s, a rocket crew member figured out how to keep rocket exhaust flames from melting the bottom of not only the test stands, but the rock they were standing on: use cascading showers of water to cool the hot zone. The result may have been to massively spread poisonous rocket fuel on a level not previously known. Finding may help explain one major contributing factor at the astronomically polluted lab.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
EnviroReporter.com has discovered evidence that Boeing-supplied documents contain false data as it pertains to Runkle Canyon, which calls into question whether additional sampling and testing in Runkle Canyon may be necessary to fully and accurately investigate the nature of the contamination and its source.
KB Home’s lab Dade Moeller & Associates has produced a 10-page report that shows strontium-90 radiation only a quarter of “background” for the area, and a fraction of previous sampling results. Simi Valley’s “split-samples,” to double-check KB Homes’ tests for accuracy, came in over a hundred times less than previous samplings.