Don’t let DOE break its SSFL cleanup commitments!
The Department of Energy recently released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that proposes three alternative cleanup plans for its operational area of SSFL. The three alternatives would respectively leave up to 39%, 91% or up to 99% of the contamination on site, where it can continue to migrate and put nearby communities at risk. All of the alternatives violate the Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) that DOE signed in 2010, which committed them to clean up all detectable contamination. DOE's DEIS also fails to acknowledge that as the polluter, it doesn’t have the authority to decide how much of the mess that it made is going to get cleaned up. That decision rests with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, not DOE. (Click
to learn more about DOE's attempt to break out of its cleanup commitments.)
Take action today! Demand that the Department of Energy uphold its promise of a full cleanup of SSFL. Below is a sample comment - we recommend personalizing it if you can. Please also share widely with your friends and neighbors!
U.S. Department of Energy
Dear Ms. Jennings: I am outraged by the DOE’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) Area IV cleanup. DOE’s DEIS makes it abundantly clear that DOE wants to break out of its commitment to clean up all of its contamination at SSFL. Instead, DOE proposes leaving between 39% and 99% of the dangerous radionuclides and toxic chemicals on site, not cleaned up, where they will continue to migrate and put nearby communities at risk. That is unacceptable! DOE must abide by the 2010 AOC and reject all three of the cleanup alternatives proposed in the DEIS, as well as the “no action” alternative for soil remediation, all of which are prohibited under the AOC. Any “leave in place” cleanup methods, including natural attenuation and “no action” and should not be considered. DOE also fails to acknowledge that the AOC is a legally binding agreement with the DTSC, and DTSC as the regulator makes the cleanup decisions, not DOE. The legal obligations in the AOC already require full cleanup, and even if it didn’t exist, the state toxics agency is the regulator who decides cleanup requirements for the toxic chemicals. That isn’t within the power of the polluter, DOE. DOE should withdraw the EIS, as it violates cleanup commitments and DOE has no legal authority to decide the cleanup in the first place. If all of the contamination at SSFL is not cleaned up per the AOC cleanup agreement, people who live nearby and future visitors to the site will be at increased risk of cancer and illnesses related to exposure to SSFL contaminants. I demand that you help protect our health and keep your cleanup commitment by ensuring that DOE’s final EIS fully comply with the AOC provisions and clean up ALL of the contamination.
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The Rocketdyne Cleanup Coalition is a community-based alliance of organizations and individuals dedicated to the cleanup of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory.