Dept. of Energy: The toxic and nuclear waste you left here is giving our kids cancer.

My daughter was diagnosed with a cancer so rare 1 in 1,000,000 children will get it. We started a map to show that children in my community have incredibly rare cancers, many above the national standards.

All of these children live within 20 miles of the Santa Susana Field Lab (SSFL)'s nuclear meltdown, named "the worst in U.S. history," releasing an undisclosed amount of radioactivity. The children of Los Angeles deserve to grow up in a clean and safe environment, free of exposure to the chemicals, toxins, and nuclear contaminants that still remain at the Santa Susana Field Lab.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is backing out of its promise in 2010 to do a full clean up of the site. They have proposed "alternative plans" in their Environmental Impact Statement that will leave as much as 39%, 91% or 99% of the toxic and nuclear contaminants on the site permanently. 

The DOE says the site hasn't harmed our community, yet they have not done a single study on the effects to children, but they assert their cleanup plans are safe--safe enough to turn the site into a park after leaving toxins and nuclear waste! Clearly they don't understand parents and what we consider safe to be. We don't any want chemical toxin or nuclear waste around our kids.

They’ve given us until April 13, 2017 to take a stand against their reduced clean up plans.

We need your help to put national pressure on the Department of Energy to uphold an Administrative Order on Consent they signed with California's toxic regulatory committee, (aka the AOC, the legal promise they made in 2010) for a 100% cleanup of all chemicals, toxins, and nuclear waste at the Santa Susana Field Lab.

Please sign our petition, if you are a resident send a comment (click the red links) to the DOE before April 13, 2017 demanding a full cleanup, join our PARENTSvsSSFL group, and see our map showing how many of our kids have had to endure cancer.

Background on the SSFL from Wikipedia:

  • The Santa Susana Field Laboratory is a complex of industrial research and development facilities located on a 2,668-acre portion of the Southern California Simi Hills in Simi Valley, California. It was used mainly for the development and testing of liquid-propellant rocket engines for the United States space program from 1949 to 2006, nuclear reactors from 1953 to 1980 and the operation of a U.S. government-sponsored liquid metals research center from 1966 to 1998. The site is located approximately 7 miles northwest from the community of Canoga Park and approximately 30 miles northwest of Downtown Los Angeles. Sage Ranch Park is adjacent on part of the northern boundary and the community of Bell Canyon along the entire southern boundary.

  • In 2007 the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board fined Boeing (co-owner of the SSFL) for 79 violations of the California Water Code. From October 2004 to January 2006, wastewater and storm water runoff coming from the SSFL had increased levels of chromium, dioxin, lead, mercury and other pollutants, the board said. The contaminated water flowed into Bell Creek and the Los Angeles River. 
  • Throughout the years, about ten low-power nuclear reactors operated at SSFL, in addition to several "critical facilities" which helped develop nuclear science and applications. At least four of the ten nuclear reactors had accidents during their operation. The reactors located on the grounds of SSFL were considered experimental, and therefore had no containment structures.

  • SSFL was slated as a United States government facility dedicated to the development and testing of nuclear reactors, powerful rockets such as the Delta II, and the systems that powered the Apollo missions. The location of SSFL was chosen in 1947 for its remoteness in order to conduct work that was considered too dangerous and too noisy to be performed in more densely populated areas. In subsequent years however, the Southern California population grew, along with housing developments surrounding "The Hill." Today, more than 150,000 people live within 5 miles of the facility, and at least half a million people live within 10 miles.
  • The Sodium Reactor Experiment-SRE was an experimental nuclear reactor which operated from 1957 to 1964 and was the first commercial power plant in the world to experience a core meltdown. There was a decades-long cover-up by the US Department of Energy. The operation predated environmental regulation, so early disposal techniques are not recorded in detail. Thousands of pounds of sodium coolant from the time of the meltdown are not yet accounted for.
  • Throughout the years, approximately ten low-power nuclear reactors operated at SSFL, in addition to several "critical facilities": a sodium burn pit in which sodium-coated objects were burned in an open pit; a plutonium fuel fabrication facility; a uranium carbide fuel fabrication facility; and the purportedly largest "Hot Lab" facility in the United States at the time.(A Hot Lab is a facility used for remotely cutting up irradiated nuclear fuel.) Irradiated nuclear fuel from other Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and Department of Energy (DOE) facilities from around the country were shipped to SSFL to be decladded and examined.The Hot Lab suffered a number of fires involving radioactive materials. For example, in 1957, a fire in the Hot Cell "got out of control and ... massive contamination" resulted. 
  • Other spills and releases occurred over the decades of operation as well. In 1989, a DOE investigation found widespread chemical and radioactive contamination on the property. Widely publicized in the local press, the revelations led to substantial concern among community members and elected officials, resulting in a challenge to and subsequent shutdown of continued nuclear activity at the site, and the filing of lawsuits. Cleanup commenced, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was brought in at the request of local legislators to provide oversight.
  • On December 11, 2002, a top Department of Energy (DOE) official, Mike Lopez, described typical clean-up procedures executed by Field Lab employees in the past. Workers would dispose of barrels filled with highly toxic waste by shooting the barrels with rifles so that they would explode and release their contents into the air. It is unclear when this process ended, but for certain did end prior to the 1990s.
  • On July 26, 1994, two scientists, Otto K. Heiney, 52, of Canoga Park and Larry A. Pugh, 51, of Thousand Oaks, were killed when the chemicals they were illegally burning in open pits exploded. After a grand jury investigation and FBI raid on the facility, three Rocketdyne officials pleaded guilty in June 2004 to illegally storing explosive materials. The jury deadlocked on the more serious charges related to illegal burning of hazardous waste.
  • The California state senate bill SB 990, passed into law in 2007, set the standards for the site's cleanup.To achieve them, the R.P.s (responsible parties) consisting of Boeing, DOE, and NASA, need to sign agreements of acceptance and cleanup compliance. Boeing has contested the law, filing a lawsuit in September 2009 to release it from compliance, with a court date set for summer 2011. Boeing won the suit and claims it will clean up the site, although to levels far below those outlined in SB 990.
  • In September 2010 DOE and NASA agreed to meet the stringent cleanup standards set for the site in the state's SB 990 legislation, and to cover all costs for their cleanup's implementation. This agreement is significant progress in the SSFL cleanup sequence.In 2014, NASA issued a final environmental impact statement containing mitigation measures that would demolish all structures and remediate soil and groundwater contamination. NASA issued a report highlighting cleanup technology feasibility studies, soil and groundwater fieldwork, and additional archaeology surveys that would be performed in preparation for the demolition of the structures. 
  • In 2017 the DOE made it's alternative clean up plans, Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) available to the public for review and comments. Residents have until March 14, 2017 to submit a comment.

 

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