2000-2019 Aerojet Chino Hills Investigation Main Page

Aerojet Chino Hills on Google Maps

Aerojet Rocketdyne – Owner of Aerojet Rocketdyne Chino Hills

Department of Toxic Substances Control Aerojet – Chino Hills – State oversight

Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. – Owner of Aerojet Rocketdyne

Carbon Canyon Chronicle: Excellent local coverage of Chino Hills and Aerojet

TIMELINE

Perchlorate draining off Aerojet Chino Hills – October 26, 2017
Surface and subsurface water tests ordered by DTSC in response to EnviroReporter.com comments finds high perchlorate, explosive RDX and uranium. DTSC notifies no one about it.

Dead for the Hills – June 30, 2016
High radiation, perchlorate, heavy metals left in water and soil and uranium in Aerojet surface water over three times drinking limit as it drains down Soquel Canyon Creek to Orange County

2016 EnviroReporter.com comments on Aerojet Rocketdyne Chino Hills cleanup
EnviroReporter.com lauds efforts to remove tainted soil and leftover munitions but questions DTSC’s conclusions about radiation and chemicals impacting Aerojet Chino Hills surface and subsurface water.

“Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind” – August 21, 2009
DTSC’s Cypress office informed EnviroReporter.com that it had amended its Aerojet Chino Hills website to accurately reflect where the polluted 800-acre facility is located. It failed. The competency shown by the department towards Aerojet Rocketdyne Chino Hills a decade later was greatly enhanced.

“Bombs Away at Aerojet Chino Hills” – August 11, 2009
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. This diligent work may have contributed to diminished uranium readings found in a tributary off of Aerojet Rocketdyne Chino Hills in 2019.

Blow In Place” – July 20, 2009
We asked why the groundwater under the OB/OD “unit” area hadn’t been tested for contamination or why the soil wasn’t screened for depleted-uranium toxicity. The documents supplied us suggested that all munitions and bomb-related material may not have been found at the cleanup site nor adjacent to it.

2009 EnviroReporter.com comments on Aerojet Rocketdyne Chino Hills cleanup
Surface water leaving site contaminated with uranium exceeding Maximum Contaminant Level for this drinking water source which drains into Santa Ana River which replenishes Orange County aquifers. Radiation and munition residue in dirt.

“Aerojet Cleans Up Its Explosive Act” – March 26, 2009
Unexploded ordnance and toxic chemicals scoured from soil at 14-acre “Open Burn/Open Detonation Unit”. “Over 260,000 cubic yards of soil were re-excavated and re-screened with over 47,000 items and 120,000 pounds of inert fragments recovered,” says DTSC.

AEROJET CHINO HILLS OB/OD CLOSURE, CLEANUP UPDATE – SPRING 2009
State solicits public comment on impending closure of 14-acre Open Burn/Open Detonation area. EnviroReporter.com analysis of OB/OP documents reveals vast areas still untested for munitions and depleted uranium contamination though DU ordnance used heavily.

March 26, 2009: DTSC holds an Aerojet Chino Hills cleanup public meeting in Chino Hills. “Over 260,000 cubic yards of soil were re-excavated and re-screened with over 47,000 items and 120,000 pounds of inert fragments recovered,” meeting notice says. “Aerojet will complete a feasibility study that will evaluate potential future land uses and the cleanup efforts associated with a change in current land use,if any.”

March 25, 2009: OC Weekly’s staff blog posts cleanup and DTSC community meeting in “If Your Tap Water Tastes Like Rocket Fuel, Go Here.” The blog notes “Santa Monica freelance reporter Michael Collins has written extensively about the clean-up, contributing a piece that appeared in the Weekly nearly nine years ago titled ‘Russians, Rockets and the Santa Ana River.’ His reporting, and public outcry, helped prod the state into demanding a more comprehensive cleanup of the polluted site.”

January 23, 2009: State Senator Bob Huff, (R-Glendora), says in his newletter, “The State Department of Toxic Substances Control briefed me on the progress being made to clear the ordinance from the Aerojet property in Chino Hills. Aerojet has tested ordinance there for many years, and they are cleaning out the fragments of exploded ordinance to return the soil to a clean and safe condition. They are almost finished with this very large undertaking.”
http://www.cssrc.us/web/29/publications.aspx?id=5373&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

November 2006: Depleted uranium contamination exceeds standard at former Aerojet Chino Hills ordnance test site. Nearly four times higher than DU readings in 2004. http://www.wise-uranium.org/dissti.html#CHINOHILLS

July 7, 2005: GenCorp News Release which says “The Company has reached an agreement to settle the San Gabriel Valley and Chino Hills toxic tort cases that have been pending against Aerojet for several years, resulting in a net $2 million charge related to such settlements.”
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=76297&p=irol-newsArticle&t=Regular&id=727249&

March 29/30, 2002: Los Angeles Times articles summaries where Aerojet requests expansion of cleanup. Defense contractor seeks state permission to comb Chino Hills State Park for unexploded ordnance left as result of years of making high-explosive munitions.
http://www.cpeo.org/lists/military/2002/msg00189.html

November 17, 2000: DTSC Response to Comments on Corrective Measures – Part I:
http://www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.gov/public/view_document.asp?docurl=http://www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.
gov/public/hwmp_community_involvement/6318036735/Part%201%2Epdf

November 17, 2000: DTSC Response to Comments on Corrective Measures – Part II:
http://www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.gov/public/view_document.asp?docurl=http://www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.
gov/public/hwmp_community_involvement/8276075065/Part%202%2Epdf

November 17, 2000: DTSC Approval of Corrective Measures:
http://www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.gov/public/view_document.asp?docurl=http://www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.
gov/public/hwmp_community_involvement/9596082389/comm%20lett%202000%2Epdf

November 17, 2000: DTSC Notice of Decision for Approval of Corrective Measures:
http://www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.gov/public/view_document.asp?docurl=http://www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.
gov/public/hwmp_community_involvement/1269406974/Aero%2520CEQA%252Epdf%2Epdf
[DEAD/NON-ARCHIVED LINK – 2019]

“Hot Zone”
LA Weekly – November 9, 2000
Michael Collins ends up helping firefighters get a grip on hazards of burning Aerojet.

June 14, 2000: LA Weekly “Industrial Detox” letters praise “Living Next to a War Factory” saying “Were it not for Collins’ persistence in flushing out the facts and presenting them in the proper context, the affected children and adults, and their heart-wrenching situations, would just be statistics in medical journals and entries on court dockets.”

“Troubled Waters”
LA Weekly – June 7, 2000
Rosemary Younts, Senior Vice President Communications for then site-owner GenCorp, responds to Michael Collins’ exposé claiming Aerojet was “appalled” and that both the LA Weekly article and OC Weekly cover story “were biased and full of inaccuracies and unfounded speculation. This type of sensationalism only serves to fuel fear, misunderstanding and mistrust in local communities, and, unfortunately, incites all-too-popular litigative actions that impede and ultimately threaten environmental cleanup projects.” Younts then goes on to claim that “No harmful levels of chemicals are present in surface waters” or had migrated offsite and that there was no risk to humans or habitat. As shown in our investigation, these statements were factually inaccurate, to put it lightly.

May 24, 2000: LA Weekly “Jet Revulsion” letter says “With any luck, justice will be served and Aerojet will get what it deserves. And I think Michael Collins and the L.A. Weekly should get what they deserve — Southern California’s gratitude for a courageous job well done and, hopefully, a Pulitzer Prize for superb investigative journalism.”

“Russians, Rockets and the Santa Ana River”
Orange County Weekly – May 18, 2000
A closed weapons plant in the Chino Hills may be leaking hazardous chemicals into the Santa Ana River.

“Living Next to a War Factory”
LA Weekly – May 3, 2000
Neighbors of closed Aerojet plant worry about their health and water. The Chino Hills site is littered with high explosive material, unexploded munitions and depleted uranium.

March 1, 2000: A toxic tort class action suit was filed against Aerojet General on behalf of 58 residents of Chino and Chino Hills, California. The suit alleges that 5,000 pounds of toxins leached from an Aerojet facility annually and contaminated the air, groundwater and surface water. The plaintiffs seek compensation for bodily injuries, including seven wrongful deaths, property diminution, medical expenses, lost wages and legal expenses. [NO LINK – 2015]

October 14, 1994: DTSC Administrative Consent Agreement outlining problems and remedies at Aerojet – Chino Hills
http://enviroreporter.com/files/10-14-94_DTSC-RCRA_agreement.pdf

2000-2019 Aerojet Chino Hills Investigation Main Page