Community Waterboarded by Water Board

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After a hearing on November 1, 2007, the LA Regional Water Quality Control Board decided to relax Boeing’s pollution permit.

An Early Christmas for A Huge Polluter:   At Boeing’s request, and over the objections of the community, the Board permanently waived enforcement of violations at about half of Boeing’s outfalls at its Santa Susana Field Laboratory and temporarily waived enforcement for the rest.  Read CBG’s comment letter here. (.pdf)

Contact the Governor, Ask Him To Sign SB990

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10/12/07 Result:Governor signs historic cleanup bill into law, clearing the path for meaningful cleanup at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory.

(alert text follows)

It is critical that the Governor is aware of public support for the recent SSFL bill passed by the California Legislature, SB990. Please write or call Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger NOW. Copies of any letter should be sent to Susan Kennedy, Chief of Staff to the Governor; and  Dan Dunmeyer, Cabinet Secretary.

The Governor, Susan Kennedy, and Dan Dunmeyer can be reached at the same address:

Phone: 916-445-2841 Fax: 916-445-4633

Address: State Capitol Building,
Sacramento, CA 95814

A copy of a letter should also be sent to Linda Adams, Secretary of Cal-EPA. She can be reached at the following address: 1001 “I” Street,
Sacramento, CA  96812

SSFL Bill Becomes Law

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September 5, 2007: Seven Republicans joined Democrats in the California State Assembly in a 50-22 vote in favor of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory cleanup bill. One of the only nuclear meltdowns in the world occurred at SSFL. With passage in the State Assembly and the State Senate, Governor Schwarzenegger shortly thereafter signed the bill into law. Read the bill here.

Court Victory on SSFL nuke site

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The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has just issued its long-awaited decision in the lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy by the Committee to Bridge the Gap, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the City of Los Angeles. The suit was filed over the inadequate cleanup of the contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory, site of one of the only reactor meltdowns in the world. Judge Samuel Conti declared that the DOE has violated and continues to violate the National Environmental Policy Act and permanently enjoined DOE from transferring ownership or possession, or otherwise relinquishing control over any portion of the nuclear area at SSFL until an Environmental Impact Statement has been completed.

This is great news for the environment.

Independent Panel Releases New Studies on Potential Cancers from 1959 Meltdown & Potential Migration from Other SSFL Accidents/Spills

On October 5, 2006 the Santa Susana Field Laboratory Advisory Panel released a series of studies about potential offsite exposures and health effects from the 1959 reactor meltdown at SSFL and other accidents, spills, and releases that occurred there.  The Santa Susana Field Laboratory Advisory Panel is an independent group of epidemiologists, nuclear experts, and other specialists established by local legislators to provide independent assessment of risks from the Rocketdyne nuclear and rocket testing facility.

Click here to read the Panel’s report and the scientists’ studies

EPA Staff propose rejection of National Academy of Sciences findings on Radiation Risks

Politicized, Anti-Science Effort to Set Lax Radiation Protection Standards

The EPA requested (and funded) the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to study the state of scientific knowledge on the risks to human health of “low doses” of radiation.  NAS found that there is no safe level of radiation; all doses increase the risk of cancer; and “low-level” radiation is about a third more dangerous in inducing cancer than EPA currently presumes in setting radiation standards to protect the public.  You would think EPA would now tighten its regulations accordingly.  You would be wrong.  EPA staff has now proposed ignoring the Academy’s recommendations and setting lower radiation risk figures than the NAS had found.  In 27 of 28 comparisons between the NAS findings and the EPA recommendations, the EPA proposals were more lax (i.e. would result in more risk to the public).  Bridge the Gap, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, and Public Citizen have disclosed this scandal.

Click here for our joint statement.

Rancho Seco Nuke Plant Victory

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Bridge the Gap and the Sierra Club recently discovered a proposed contract by which radioactive wastes from decommissioning the Rancho Seco nuclear plant would be sent out of state for disposal in landfills not licensed or designed for radioactive waste.  This would effectively bypass a victory by CBG in state court several years ago that overturned a regulation that would have permitted such unlicensed dumping in California, and an administrative moratorium on such practices in the state that we got adopted.  CBG and the Sierra Club filed a complaint with the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) Board, which resulted in a reversal by SMUD and a commitment not to send radioactive waste to unlicensed disposal sites [click here to see SMUD’s response].  This victory is important not only for our region, but more broadly, since other radwaste generators would likely have used “SMUD does it” as an excuse for exploiting the same loophole.

  • See CBG/Sierra Club Complaint to SMUD Board (click here)
  • See the SMUD Board’s response letter (click here)

CBG Reveals New Evidence of Radioactive Contamination of Water at SSFL

In an April 2006 presentation, CBG details exceedences of radioactive strontium-90, and a complete failure by the Water Board to take action.  You can view this presentation in a variety of formats: