After the Los Angeles CityBeat & ValleyBeat cover story “The Radiation Rangers” came out June 21, 2007, the City of Simi Valley decided to go up Runkle Canyon [now called Arroyo Heights at the Woodlands] and test it for itself. This testing for Title 22 hazardous metals, which includes the arsenic, nickel and vanadium found at shocking levels by the Rangers and tested previously, took water and soil samples which were split to be tested by Pat-Chem Laboratories and another lab of the City’s choosing.
The guarded gate to Runkle Canyon.
KB Homes' Scott Ouellette, in purple shirt, allowed into the property a caravan of city and county officials to head up into the hills to test the not-so-mysterious muck percolating up from the groundwater in Runkle Canyon in the Santa Susana Mountains.
Folks gather for the ride up Runkle at
Shade offered some respite from the
blistering sun and summer heat.
(left to right): The Reverend John Southwick, Council Member Barbra Williamson, Assistant City Manager Laura Behjan, Ventura
County Supervisor Peter Foy, City Manager Mike Sedell and the Honorable Mayor Paul Miller share notes and a laugh in the shade.
Pat-Chem technician Ron Lovato, foreground and at right, sampled the goo in the water trying his best to duplicate the spots he sampled for the Radiation Rangers over a month before.
Unidentified testing person in the reeds of
(left to right): unidentified woman, KB
Homes' Keith Jajko, Williamson.
(left to right): Ouellette, Sedell, Miller
Pat-Chem's Lovato with unidentified man
Ouellette with Foy
(left to right): Sedell, Foy, Jajko and
The black gunk on the testor's gloves
appears to be crude oil.
Simi Valley's Laura Behjan, foreground,
looks like she'd rather be somewhere else
than this scorching hot canyon
Lovato appears to be sampling from the
same location where the arsenic-laced
mud was sampled by the Radiation
KB Homes' Ouellette shares some thoughts
with Simi Valley's Williamson.
One unidentified man said to Southwick
that the rusty-looking soil was stained by
these old pipes -- a highly unlikely scenario.
24 Years of Award-Winning SSFL/Rocketdyne Reporting
June 1998 – June 2022