Historic Cleanup Agreement Reached for Former Nuclear Facility in Southern California

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State and federal governments signed agreements today to clean up toxic contamination at SSFL, a former nuclear reactor and rocket testing facility in the hills overlooking the western San Fernando and Simi Valleys. The cleanup agreements were lauded by CBG and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). CBG, NRDC, and nearby communities worked together for decades to ensure a thorough cleanup.

Read CBG’s press release here.

Read the State of California’s press release here.

Read DOE’s press release here.

Read Assemblywoman Brownley’s press release here.

Read Senator Pavley’s press release here.

Overwhelming Support for SSFL Cleanup Agreements

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An unprecedented 1,700+ comments were received on the Agreements-in-Principle for the cleanup of the Department of Energy (DOE) and NASA portions of the Santa Susana Field Lab, the contaminated nuclear and rocket testing facility, with supporters outnumbering those with questions and criticisms by 100 to 1. In a move that has created some frustration in the community, however, DOE has requested a second comment period, this time on the detailed legalese in the Administrative Order on Consent that puts the Agreement-in-Principle into a legally binding and enforceable form. The community has so long yearned for the cleanup to commence that the delay in signing a final agreement and requiring people to go through a comment period again has caused some irritation. But DOE and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) have committed to signing a final, legally binding agreement by December 6, after the close of the second comment period. So, PLEASE get your comments in, by November 22, urging that the final agreement be promptly signed (see Urgent Action).

 

CBG Mourns Death of Long-time Board Member Mildred Plotkin

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Millie Plotkin, who served on Bridge the Gap’s Board and was one of our mainstays for more than three decades, died peacefully in her sleep on October 16. She was a remarkable person, feisty and progressive, a perfect match for her husband Shel, to whom our hearts and thoughts go out.

Elected Officials Pressure Boeing to Cleanup SSFL

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After the historic announcement that NASA and DOE have agreed to clean up portions of SSFL, the Boeing Company is coming under intense pressure by public officials to agree to clean up the facility to the same stringent cleanup standards that both federal agencies have agreed to abide by.

Click here to view the letter presented to Boeing by elected officials.

Congressman Brad Sherman hands a letter signed by elected officials, and addressed to the head of Boeing, to a security guard at SSFL. The letter calls on Boeing to stop obstructing the cleanup and to join with DOE and NASA in agreeing to the same cleanup deal the federal government has agreed to.

SSFL Nuclear Cleanup Deal Reached

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After 30 years of debate, a federal lawsuit, the passage of a state law, and congressional inquiries, a breakthrough agreement has been reached to cleanup portions of the SSFL facility to heightened EPA standards. On being asked by reporters to comment on the deal struck between regulators, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NASA, CBG’s Dan Hirsch called the agreement “extraordinary.” Hirsch went on to say that “It’s the biggest news since the meltdown. It’s the culmination of decades of work to get the contamination cleaned up.”

The agreement with DOE will lead to the cleanup of Area 4, where the 1959 meltdown occurred. The agreement with NASA will lead to the cleanup of Area 2 and part of Area 1, where the space agency conducted a great deal of rocket testing in the 20th century.

Read more in the Ventura County Star: here

Read more in the Los Angeles Times: here

Read more in the Contra Costa Times: here

Read more in the Los Angeles Daily News: here

The DTSC press release can be read here

The DOE agreement can be read here

The NASA agreement can be read here

Bake Sale For Boeing!

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(With video.) February, 2010: Teens Against Toxins, a group of high school students alarmed by the Boeing Company’s refusal to clean up the radioactive and toxic contamination at its Santa Susana Field Lab near where they live, recently held a bake-sale to raise money to be donated to the Boeing Company, which claims a state-ordered cleanup would be a financial burden. The bake sale featured Chocolate Meltdowns and other nuclear-themed treats. The purpose was to raise funds for Boeing, which is suing to avoid complying with a state-ordered cleanup of toxic waste resulting from a 1959 nuclear meltdown at the Santa Susana Field Lab above the San Fernando, Simi and Conejo Valleys. The Boeing Company, which made more than $68.0 billion in 2009, is claiming it would be a financial hardship to have to follow the California law on cleaning up the contamination. Boeing refused to accept the $99.31 raised by the teens, so they donated it to cancer research. Click here to see their YouTube video.