DOE-DTSC Order to Demolish Buildings in Santa Susana Field Lab’s Nuclear Area Met By Skepticism

Area IV, the nuclear area of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory

On May 20, 2020, the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) and the California Dept. of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) signed a consent order to tear down parts of 10 buildings in the nuclear area of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. Both DOE and DTSC released press releases heralding the agreement, which has been covered in many media outlets.

However, the 2010 Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) between DTSC and DOE already required the buildings to be removed, as part of the agreement that soil be cleaned up to background levels of contamination. (Soil is defined in the AOC as including all structures and debris.) And DOE has long wanted to tear down the buildings. So, this new agreement does not really require anything that DOE wasn’t already required to do and didn’t already want to do. Read More

The February 13, 20020 SSFL Work Group meeting brought together community members, cleanup advocates, and local elected officials to discuss the SSFL cleanup crisis. The meeting featured a presentation by CalEPA Secretary Jared Blumenfeld as well as presentations by Melissa Bumstead, founder of Parents vs SSFL, Dan Hirsch, President of Committee to Bridge the Gap, and Linda Parks, Ventura County Supervisor. Elected officials representing the area from every level of government made strong statements of support for the full, promised cleanup. Click here to view video from the meeting.

Rock the Cleanup! 60th Anniversary of SSFL Meltdown to be Commemorated July 13

On Saturday, July 13, 2019, community members who live near SSFL will hold an event called “Rock the Cleanup” to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the partial nuclear meltdown at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) and to rally for the full cleanup of SSFL’s nuclear and chemical contamination.

The SSFL cleanup was supposed to be completed by 2017. But it hasn’t even begun, and now the polluters want to walk away from their cleanup agreements and leave most of the contaminatpart of a memorial in honor of workers and community members who’ve been harmed by exposure to SSFL contamination. (Read press release here.)

Rock the Cleanup will be a family friendly event with informative speakers and activities such as rock painting, games, prizes, and $1 Kona Ice. Rocks painted at the event will become part of a memorial in honor of workers and community members who’ve been harmed by exposure to SSFL contamination.

Click here to RSVP and to let us know if you can volunteer. (RSVPs are not required but will help tremendously with planning.)

What happened during the SSFL meltdown? Check out this 2014 SSFL Work Group presentation by John Pace, eyewitness to SSFL meltdown, and the panel discussion after his presentation featuring other former SSFL workers and experts.

New Film Features Families Impacted by Childhood Cancer Near SSFL released a new short film on April 11, 2018 that features families impacted by childhood cancer near SSFL. The online petition organization created the film after a petition launched by West Hills resident Melissa Bumstead caught their attention, and their hearts. Melissa’s daughter Grace is recovering from her second fight against leukemia. During Grace’s first treatment at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Melissa met other parents of children with rare cancers who live near SSFL. She launched the petition to urge DTSC to uphold its commitment to fully cleanup nuclear and chemical contamination at the site that she believes may be responsible for the cancers. The struggle has gained new urgency since the passing of Hazel Hammersley, a Simi valley girl who recently lost a 5 year battle with neuroblastoma. Melissa said, “Losing Hazel has been devastating for us, but her mother wants us to use her passing to push even harder for this cleanup.”