Rev. John Southwick photographs white substance in Runkle Canyon
Rev. John Southwick photographs white substance in Runkle Canyon
Radiation Rangers, Rev. John Southwick and Frank Serafine, discovered a white substance covering a vast area of Runkle Canyon on March 26, 2008 (See “White Blight”.)

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. The report’s heavy metal readings show high chromium, nickel, molybdenum, potassium and iron.

The DTSC report, however, called the material “evaporative salt” two weeks before getting lab results and ignored the high chromium readings. but performed an extensive Runkle Canyon chromium analysis. Results of this analysis include:

* Potassium over 635 times normal, molybdenum 14 times higher, iron 3,243 times more than in average California soil

* Chromium six times EPA Preliminary Remediation Goal and eleven times average in soil

* Chromium levels trip investigation guidelines in New Jersey, Kentucky, Oregon and Canada

* The type type of chromium is unknown, but the hexavalent variety is a human carcinogen and trivalent “valence” is harmful to mammals and birds. Chromium was previously found by city of Simi Valley in Runkle Canyon surface water.

* The Runkle Canyon chromium, nickel and molybdenum readings were all higher than Rocketdyne averages

A DTSC official said similar material was found in west San Fernando Valley canyon on the opposite side of Rocketdyne from Runkle Canyon. “We were in Runkle Canyon and observed a similar kind of salt,” official says. “We checked the precipitate salt and found that it wasn’t a problem to public health.”

In response, Radiation Ranger Southwick said, “the department has to take this stuff as seriously as we do and get the science right.” Ranger “Toxic Terry” Matheney demanded that the white “dead zone” be immediately remediated. “KB Home has to scrape that crap off the surface of the soil before next season’s rains or it will be washed down into the Arroyo Simi and we’ll end up drinking it.”

In related news:

* Boeing was fined $471,190 by California Regional Water Quality Control Board on September 11, 2007. “The violations consisted of wastewater and storm water run-off discharges with elevated levels of chromium…”

* A Boeing official contradicted himself in a sworn documents given to DTSC that mischaracterized Rocketdyne’s border with Runkle and offsite tests.

24 Years of Award-Winning SSFL/Rocketdyne Reporting
June 1998June 2022

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