2,850-acre Santa Susana Field Laboratory AKA Rocketdyne in hills above Simi and San Fernando valleys in Southern California.
Maps show where nuclear and rocketry work was done and where vast areas have been polluted. Also show drainages from SSFL form headwaters of the Los Angeles River as well as well as lead to Arroyo Simi.
Resource Conservation Recovery Act Facility Investigations, or RFI groupings, are areas characterized for contamination.
Area I consists of 671 acres owned by Boeing and 42 acres owned by NASA. Extensive land, surface and ground water contamination.
Area I includes former Thermal Treatment Facility and the rocket test sites Bowl, Canyon, and Advanced Propulsion Test Facility.
Area I contains the Bowl where accused Nazi war criminal Wernher von Braun got his American rocketeer career start re-creating his V-2 rocket test stands after World War II.
SSFL Area II includes Alpha and Bravo areas. Operational with three test stands beginning in 1955, Alpha supported first manned orbital flight of Atlas-Mercury in 1962. Extensively polluted.
Area II includes Coca complex that was involved with several missiles including Navajo, Atlas, J-2, Saturn V and Delta IV Expendable Launch Vehicle Tanks.
SSFL Area II includes Delta site constructed in 1957 for Thor engine testing and later modified for Lance J-2 programs. Area also used for loading propellant for Peacekeeper Stage IV.
Area III is astronomically polluted. Drainage drops down Bell Canyon and into Los Angeles River to east.
Throughout SSFL are a number of chemical dump "ponds" which are extraordinarily polluted. Los Angeles River headwaters.
25 GALLERIES of Santa Susana Field Laboratory's Area IV. Extensive radiological and chemical contamination.
After tossing out its own background radiation cleanup standards, EPA faces an angry community. Makeover Earth's Gary Polakovic shows up even as his Boeing meltdown makeover plan had been exposed in the Daily News and EnviroReporter.com. Polakovic's greenwashing friends are there too.
Area IV road with strontium-90 at 67 times background. Cesium-137 at 1,016 times normal in one spot and 1,918 times in another. Plutonium 239-240 24 feet down over 92 times background. Government signed off on these areas for unrestricted use. Boeing buses public to walk around SRE in 2015.
“[T]he headwaters of the L.A. River are a stinking cesspool visually," says Lewis MacAdams, co-founder of the Friends of the Los Angeles River, "and can't help but have negative implications for the river downstream.” Photos by William Preston Bowling
Boeing's greenwashing astroturf allies square off against the other 99% of community demanding government stick to agreements to remediate SSFL to background levels of radiation and chemicals.
Boeing SSFL Bus Tour Demonstration August 6 2016
This demonstration by the Rocketdyne Cleanup Coalition at the entrance to Boeing’s Santa Susana Field Laboratory was to protest the use of the still-contaminated site for recreation before it is totally cleaned up. The protest was larger than the last one there in April 2016 demanding an end to the bus tours.
Special thanks for the use of many of these images to the Aerospace Cancer Museum of Education, Rocketdyne Archives, H2OhNo!!!, the Department of Toxic Substances Control and Department of Energy, as well as various municipal, state and federal government agencies.
25 Years of Award-Winning SSFL/Rocketdyne Reporting
1998 – 2023