Petition update

My worst nightmare: fire at Santa Susana Field Lab

Melissa Bumstead
Simi Valley, CA, United States

Nov 9, 2018 — 

My biggest fears are being realized and I need your help. 

I grew up in Thousand Oaks. I woke up yesterday morning to the tragic news that a shooter killed 13 people there. My mom spent the day grieving as her close friend’s nephew was killed. I thought things couldn’t get worse… and then the fires started. 

I can see the Woolsey Canyon fire smoke from my house, it’s the fire that started near the Santa Susana Field Lab, one of America’s worst nuclear meltdowns. My parents were evacuated from their home at midnight last night and my brother-in-law’s family was evacuated at 4:30am. They’re safe and staying at our house, but unsure when they can go home, and if there will be a home to go to.

And this is where I think I’ll lose my mind… the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) is lying to us about the biggest danger we face: that this smoke could contain radiation and toxic chemicals from SSFL.

The DTSC hasn’t issued even ONE warning to the public that the smoke could be radioactive. They haven’t informed us what part of the site has burned. We already know that Areas 1 & 2, which have been heavily contaminated with TCE, burned last night (see photo) but we're unsure if the most radioactively contaminated part of the site, Area 4, caught fire.

Instead the DTSC sent a public email saying, “...We determined the fire did not present any risks other than those normally present in a wildfire situation.” Nothing about the fact that we could be breathing radioactive smoke. They haven’t been to any of the press conferences, they haven’t been transparent...they don’t care about protecting us. If they did, they would have cleaned the site by 2017 like they promised and the fire wouldn’t pose as large a risk.

And because of the DTSC lies, firefighters were likely being exposed to radioactive smoke without any warning. These are our heros, fighting to protect our community, now at risk of thyroid issues, autoimmune diseases, and even cancer. The South Coast Air Quality Management District refused to release a toxic smoke warning, even though I spoke with them for hours last night, as the DTSC told them the site isn’t dangerous, even though the plutonium is buried only a few feet below ground.

Because DTSC of the lies, people who are worried their homes might burn down don’t realize the smoke isn’t just dangerous, it could be deadly. So we need you to call the DTSC today at (916) 322-2198.

Please call the DTSC director, Barbara Lee, right now at (916) 322-2198* and tell her that we’re at risk and they’ve failed to warn us. We want a public statement alerting the public that the smoke has the potential for exposure to radioactive and carcinogenic contamination from SSFL, and we want that statement immediately. And we want the 100% cleanup they promised us in 2010. 

* The phone number will go to Kim Smith, Barbara’s assistant.

Our community really needs your help today, please call now.



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