Denise Duffield talks SSFL and Kardashian sisters fight for total cleanup
Associate Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles and EnviroReporter.com Editor Denise Duffield appeared on the December 1, 2019 Keeping Up with the Kardashians episode “Gifted.”
The appearance signifies a unique moment in the battled-for cleanup of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) that sits on 2,849 acres of radioactive and chemically contaminated land in the hills above the Simi and San Fernando Valleys.
Denise talked of the dangers of the former Rocketdyne compound with Kim and Kourtney Kardashian in the company of SSFL cleanup activists Melissa Bumstead and Stacy Hurst. The three Keeping Up with the Kardashians segments on SSFL begin at 6:47 minutes.
It was a moment of historic importance in the 21 years this reporter has covered Rocketdyne. The last celebrity to protest SSFL’s threat to Southern California neighborhoods was Tom Petty marching with a sign outside lab gates decades ago.
The Kardashian sisters focusing on SSFL is considerably more influential and is a testament to the power of the issue of the contaminated lab. Watching Kim and Denise connect on the show was surreal but made perfect sense. These two fearless women get things done.
The Kardashians first expressed alarm about SSFL-related toxins when the Woolsey Fire forced them to evacuate from their Calabasas homes on November 8, 2018 as EnviroReporter.com reported in Smoke Screen – Woolsey Fire Contamination Cover-up:
“Shocked & furious to learn smoke from the #WoolseyFire started at former nuclear testing site, Santa Susana Field Lab, & is potentially radioactive,” tweeted mega-celebrity Kim Kardashian to her 58 million followers Nov. 14, six days after the devastating fire ignited. “Sign now to demand that incoming governor @GavinNewsom gets this site cleaned up: [No more kids with cancer: clean up the Santa Susana Field Lab]”
The December premiere of “Gifted” marks an even more important event than Kim’s original tweet because of the personal connection she makes with her guests. It was frankly astonishing for this reporter to watch his editor – and stunning wife – sitting on a sofa with two famous women who listened to what she had to say and were determined to do something about it.
“There’s widespread contamination in the soil, in the groundwater, and in the surface water [at SSFL],” Denise explained to the Kardashians. “In 2010, they said it was going to be cleaned up by 2017,” she said. “It hasn’t even started.”
Kim’s eyes grew wide. The room stilled as talk turned to the over 50 childhood cancers clustered near SSFL, including Melissa’s daughter Grace, who is thankfully now cancer-free. It is moving stuff and the kind of thing that makes a reporter, and husband, extremely proud. It is especially gratifying to see outstanding Americans standing up for their people and country’s land at a time when Russian-duped would-be traitors traipse across the land supporting a tyrannical twit.
Kim and Kourtney didn’t have to care about SSFL, but they do now.
It was Denise who identified the origins of the Woolsey Fire on the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. She was standing next to me in EnviroReporter.com‘s bullpen looking at an online Twitter photo on my computer. “That’s SSFL,” she said. “That’s where the fire started.”
Denise then told the world where the fire origin appeared to be and why it was so worrisome. Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, along with thousands of Woolsey Fire smoke-choked people, heard and knew a toxic disaster was suddenly everywhere impacting everyone and every creature that could smell it.
“The tremendously destructive Woolsey Fire has been widely reported as beginning “near” the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL or Rocketdyne), but it appears that the fire began on the Rocketdyne property itself,” Denise wrote in a PSR-LA press release November 12, 2018. “A photograph posted on Twitter from KCAL9‘s Stu Mundel shows the fire starting Thursday afternoon near the same location, which is only about 1,000 yards away from the site of the 1959 partial nuclear meltdown of the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE) reactor.”
The show also records the Kardashian sisters attending the 60th anniversary commemoration of the partial meltdown of the Sodium Reactor Experiment July 13. There Kim and Kourtney meet with mothers of children impacted by childhood cancers that their parents think were caused by the lab.
One such kid, the indefatigable 9-year-old Grace Bumstead, gave Kim a special painted rock supporting full cleanup of the former Rocketdyne property. It was a touching moment where community and celebrity combined to try to remedy wrongs the government repeatedly has refused to despite years of public promises.
EnviroReporter.com‘s article with the announcement of the “Rock the Cleanup” event included the shocking information that a Boeing report quietly released this year showed that two separate air samplers detected Polonium-210 in Woolsey Fire smoke that weighed over 43,000 tons just from SSFL.
Polonium-210 is so poisonous that it is the Russian radioisotope of choice for assassinations. Po-210 is 250,000 times more poisonous than hydrogen cyanide. Boeing found it in Woolsey Fire smoke in both its detectors that weren’t even in nuclear Area IV but instead in the Southern Buffer Zone next to dirt roads Boeing uses to let hundreds of hikers amble through without face masks. Boeing has not announced nor explained the presence of Po-210 in smoke from burning vegetation on its property.
As foul as the winds can be that blow across this land from SSFL, people like Denise, Kim, Kourtney and a small committed group will see through the smoke and get to the root of the foulness which causes it. This has been and will be all documented on EnviroReporter.com at the Woolsey Fire Investigation page.
See Denise Duffield, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian plus affected community members on the Keeping Up With the Kardashians episode “Gifted” at https://www.nbc.com/keeping-up-with-the-kardashians/video/gifted/4072649
[All screengrab photographs Copyright E! KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS #KUWTK – Fair Use]
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1998 – 2023
I am stunned by this article! I had no knowledge about this fire! Only because I am out of state for a time and never got the full story of the fire. I am terribly upset not only for the population around the SSFL and Boeing property but for the fact my daughter lives in the mobile home park Woolsey Canyon Estates just down the road. My daughter moved there because of the rent prices. The valley is getting too expensive for a single mother with two children to live in regular housing, which is insane all by itself! This makes me so mad that since we all started this process more than two decades ago that this property still has such dangerous chemicals on and in it’s soil. This makes me want to move back to California and get back in the fight. The part that is so sad is now I don’t have the energy because last year I had a tumor removed from my brain. Thank goodness it was benign and growing in a space not connected or in my brain. I’ve often wondered if this was connected to the SSFL and Rocketdyne property as we lived in Bell Canyon throughout the 80’s and 90’s. So, now I’m worried about my daughter, my grandchildren and pets. I speak to the people of the San Fernando Valley now, if you live in the west San Fernando Valley, have had any cancer or cancer related health issues please get in touch with the organization we started the SSFL Work Group which includes people from the Valley and the other side of the hill Simi Valley. Michael I don’t have any of my papers with me so I hope you can give out the telephone numbers for the group. If we could get the attention of the entire valley we could maybe make some progress on getting Boeing to clean the site up to EPA standards, I am excited that the Kardashian family has been enlightened to the facts of this deadly site sitting right above the west end of the valley. Hardly anyone knows this deadly site is there and Boeing wants to release the property and let contractors build houses, have hiking trails and a park!! I hope the Kardashian family can bring more attention to the site. We have tried for years and never could get that much attention and had to fight these corporations all by ourselves, thank goodness for the NRDC taking our case and helping but it didn’t go away. They are still to this day fighting! So, please Kardashians bring it, bring all the attention you can get to shine a huge spotlight on this deadly problem in the valley! As always Michael, I commend you for all your hard work! Michael has been there since the beginning and we owe him a lot for all the press he brought and is still working hard bringing the news to all of us.