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.
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.
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
(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.
At the heart of what should be the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s prime mission is protection of the public and nuclear workers from exposure to radiation. Unfortunately, current NRC radiation protection regulations allow exposures at levels so high that its own official excess risk estimates associated with the permissible radiation doses generally exceed by orders of magnitude allowable risks for any other carcinogen. The NRC’s radiation protection standards are desperately in need of being markedly tightened.
Read the full Rad Comments by clicking here.(.pdf)
A whole range of proposals left over from the Bush Administration to markedly relax standards for radiation protection remain pending before the new leadership at EPA. In August, CBG led an effort by numerous groups to get the new leadership at EPA to reverse these proposals; see our letter and supporting materials here.
In November, CBG’s Dan Hirsch led a delegation to an extraordinary meeting with three Assistant Administrators at EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., to press them to block carryover efforts to allow markedly increased radiation exposures of the public. Dan’s PowerPoint presentation to EPA about these very dangerous proposals can be viewed here (powerpoint or a powerpoint presentation viewer is required to view).
Also, Congressman Ed Markey, Chair of the Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, wrote EPA on October 27, raising many of the issues CBG had put forward. His letter can be viewed here. It remains to be seen whether the Obama Administration, on these issues as on so many others, will in fact represent the change for which so many had hoped.A whole range of proposals left over from the Bush Administration to markedly relax standards for radiation protection remain pending before the new leadership at EPA. In August, CBG led an effort by numerous groups to get the new leadership at EPA to reverse these proposals; see our letter and supporting materials here.