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EIR Released for Santa Susana Remediation

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The California Department of Toxic Substance Control on June 8 released its final report on the Santa Susana Field Lab clean up.

The Santa Susana Field Lab is a 2,850-acre site in Simi Valley where rocket engine testing and nuclear research took place.  A partial nuclear meltdown in 1959 left behind radioactive material.

The state has proposed removing over 2.5 million cubic yards of contaminated soil and radiologic waste over a 15-year period.

The new report details the environmental impacts of cleaning the contaminated soil and groundwater, addressing air quality, noise and the concerns about trucking the waste out of the site and possibly through the San Fernando Valley. It includes requirements for covering and decontaminating the trucks full of hazardous material, and a list of potential disposal sites.

Most of the original buildings and infrastructure above-ground have already been removed. Two soil clean ups have been started at the former shooting range and burn pit. 

The report still must be certified on June 18, then the Boeing Company, NASA and the Department of Defense can work on developing a  workable plan for cleanup, subject to public review.

The Director of the Department of Toxic Substances Control, Meredith Williams, said, “The remediation work will last for many years, and DTSC will exercise strict oversight each step of the way. I want to make clear that the report makes no final decision on cleanup levels at each of the areas of responsibility.”

Activists were surprised that the report was released by the Department with only a week to review it, giving little time for the public to comment on it.

Larry Yee, former chair of the L.A. Regional Water Quality Control Board, said the agreement rolls back more expensive cleanup requirements that were already in place. 

To view the report visit

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