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NASA SSFL News

New announcements from the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL). Older announcements can be found in the SSFL News Archive.

To be notified when news articles are added:

NASA Conducted Public Tours of Demolition Areas

November 13, 2014

On Friday, November 7, NASA gave over 50 interested community members the chance to tour and photograph areas at the SSFL scheduled for demolition. This work is the next step toward soil and groundwater cleanup at SSFL. The structures, once an important part of our nation’s space program, are now inactive and no longer needed.

Phase I of the demolition project is planned to begin in November with service area structures in the northern part of Area II and the Delta Test Area. The Coca Test Area structures are planned for demolition in 2016 as part of Phase II. The final phase of demolition will occur in the Alfa and Bravo Test Areas. Active public involvement has been instrumental in the preservation of at least one SSFL test stand and one control house. NASA is working with the California State Historic Preservation Officer, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC), the agency overseeing SSFL site cleanup, to finalize preservation plans.

Tour presentation (PDF)

Demolition Tour Registration Closed

November 3, 2014

Registration is now closed for the tours of NASA¹s SSFL Demolition Areas on November 7, 2014.

Demolition Tour - November 7, 2014

October 28, 2014

Tour of NASA's planned demolition areas is Nov 7th, 2014.

Demolition Tour Flyer (PDF)

SSFL FieldNOTE – November 2014

October 28, 2014

This FieldNOTE newsletter describes NASA's progress towards cleanup at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory and is about to take a big step forward by preparing for the demolition of test stands and supporting facilities.

SSFL FieldNOTE – August 2014

August 26, 2014

This FieldNOTE newsletter describes the groundwater treatability studies NASA, Boeing, and DOE are conducting for the SSFL site. It focuses on the Bedrock Vapor Extraction (BVE) technology NASA is conducting in Area II near the Bravo Skim Pond. The goal of the treatability study is to determine if BVE is feasible to use as a full-scale cleanup option for the SSFL site.

NASA releases Record of Decision (ROD) for Environmental Impact Statement

May 01, 2014

The Record of Decision (ROD) for NASA’s SSFL Environmental Impact Statement is now available. NASA’s decision is to proceed with the demolition of non-historic structures and the Coca Test Stand Historic District as described in Section 2 of the final EIS. Proceeding with demolition activity now will move NASA forward toward complying with the state orders, while recognizing that new information could increase efficiency in reaching the required cleanup levels. NASA will not proceed with any soil or groundwater cleanup activities identified in the Proposed Action until the technology feasibility studies and field sampling characterization are complete and another Record of Decision related to the cleanup activities is issued. This information will inform NASA’s decision on the specific remedy approaches across the site.

The Programmatic Agreement between NASA, California State Historic Preservation Officer, the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation, and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians is an attachment to the ROD.

Record of Decision (ROD) External site icon (PDF)

NASA publishes Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on demolition and cleanup

March 14, 2014

The Notice of Availability for the NASA Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for demolition and environmental cleanup activities of property administered by NASA at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory in California has been published in the Federal Register.

Complete Final Environmental Impact Statement announcement.

SSFL NASA Public Technical Meeting March 19

March 12, 2014

On March 19, 2014, at the DTSC Regional Office, DTSC and NASA will provide an update on the status of soil and groundwater investigations and treatability studies for the NASA-administered portions of SSFL including:

  • Field Sampling Plan 6 for the completion of NASA's soil investigation
  • NASA's Area of Impacted Groundwater (AIG) investigation work plan at the former Liquid Oxygen (LOX) Plant site
  • NASA soil and bedrock vapor extraction treatability studies
  • Schedule update for 2014 activities required under the 2010 DTSC-NASA Administrative Order on Consent (AOC)

If you are unable to attend the meeting the call-in number is:
Phone: (877) 327-2796  Passcode 259-7462

The DTSC Regional Office is located at 9211 Oakdale Avenue, Chatsworth, CA 91311.

NASA Releases 2013 Year in Review

February 2, 2014

The 2013 Year in Review summarizes the activities of a year of progress in the cleanup of land NASA administers in two areas of Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL). We continue to make frequent contact during the year with community members and interested stakeholders.

SSFL FieldNOTE – October 2013

October 29, 2013

We are providing periodic updates about our cleanup efforts at SSFL. This fourth newsletter online edition focuses on a recently completed stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP) we constructed on NASA-administered land at SSFL. This construction will improve stormwater quality and conveyance from the ELV Service area as it moves to the SSFL Outfall 009. Also featured is a description of the innovative “green” engineering and technologies NASA used in construction, and an explanation of how the BMP operates.

NASA notifies DTSC of application to transfer operational control from Boeing to NASA for Hazardous Waste Facility Post-Closure Permit

October 1, 2013

On October 3, 2013, NASA submitted a permit modification to request DTSC to approve the operator transfer from Boeing to NASA with regard to the Hazardous Waste Facility Post-Closure Permit. In addition to this public notice, DTSC is mailing the notice to the contacts on its facility mailing list and to appropriate State and local agencies. This permit modification requires approval from DTSC prior to implementation.

Presentation at DEIS Public Comment Meetings

September 4, 2013

NASA presented these slides (PDF) at the Public Comment meetings on Aug. 27 and Aug. 28 in West Hills, Calif.

Public Comment Period extended for NASA Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for an additional 15 days. Now Closes October 1, 2013.

August 20, 2013

Public Comment Period extended for NASA Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for an additional 15 days. Now Closes October 1, 2013.

The NASA Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for demolition and environmental cleanup activities of property administered by NASA at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory in California is now available for review. The Public Comment Period closes on September 16, 2013 October 1, 2013.

August 2, 2013

Updated: August 20, 2013

Updated: March 14, 2014

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is available online and in printed form at the Information Repositories, listed below. The Notice of Availability (NOA) has been published in the Federal Register.

Links to online documents:

A limited number of copies of the DEIS are available on a first-come basis. To obtain a copy, contact Allen Elliott, SSFL Program Director, by phone at (256) 544-0662 or by e-mail at msfc-ssfl-eis@mail.nasa.gov.

Your comments on the NASA DEIS must be submitted on or before September 16, 2013 October 1, 2013, and may be submitted in the following ways:

  • In writing to Allen Elliott, SSFL Program Director, NASA MSFC AS01, Building 4494, Huntsville, AL 35812;
  • Via e-mail to msfc-ssfl-eis@mail.nasa.gov;
  • By oral public comment at one of two public meetings at the following times and location. The public comment meetings are for the public to hear a summary of the DEIS and to provide comments on the record for NASA’s consideration.
Public Comment Meetings
Date and Time Address City
Tuesday, 8/27/13
2 - 4 p.m.
Auditorium, Corporate Pointe,
8413 Fallbrook Avenue,
West Hills, CA 91304
West Hills, California
Wednesday, 8/28/13
6 - 8 p.m.
Auditorium, Corporate Pointe,
8413 Fallbrook Avenue,
West Hills, CA 91304
West Hills, California

Following the meetings, copies of the presentations will be available on this site. The links will be posted here when they are available.

Information Repositories

For any questions regarding the upcoming meetings, how to provide comments, or regarding other matters pertaining to NASA’s administration of land at Santa Susana Field Lab, please call Merrilee Fellows at (818) 393-0754 or contact her by email at mfellows@nasa.gov.

Past & Present: An Overview of NASA-administered Land Fact Sheet, 2013

July 03, 2013

This fact sheet (PDF) provides a brief overview of the historical operations carried out on NASA-administered land at SSFL. It describes groundwater, surface water, and soil cleanup actions underway as part of NASA's commitment to clean up chemicals in the environment that remain from past operations.

DTSC Letter in Response to City of Simi Valley

April 19, 2013

DTSC April 3, 2013, letter citing no evidence of off-site contamination from SSFL. Letterhead copy of the original email. (PDF)

Note: Highlight added by NASA

April 3, 2013

The Honorable Robert O. Huber
Major of City of Simi Valley
2929 Tapo Canyon Road
Simi Valley, California 93063-2199

DEPARTMENT OF TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL’S RESPONSE TO CITY OF SIMI VALLEY’S LETTER ON SANTA SUSANA FIELD LABORATORY

Dear Mayor Huber:

I would like to thank you and the Simi Valley City Council on behalf of Director Deborah Raphael for your March 4, 2013, letter regarding the cleanup of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL). I appreciate your acknowledgement of the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) role and commitment to the SSFL cleanup.

Let me assure you that DTSC continues to work and ensure that the health and safety of communities surrounding SSFL are protected. To date we have not found evidence of off-site contamination from SSFL that would pose a risk to human health or the environment. We will continue our efforts to get investigation and cleanup activities completed as quickly and effectively as possible.

Your letter identified several important issues, and I would like to take this opportunity to share DTSC’s view on them.

  1. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) completed their investigation activities in December 2012. Although they have reduced their level of effort on the SSFL project, they will continue to advise DTSC as needed. The Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) with the Department of Energy (DOE) identifies that increased US EPA activities will again be necessary when radionuclide cleanup activities begin. DTSC anticipates that DOE will need to reengage with the US EPA in 2015 for the radiological cleanup activities.
  2. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report is an internal document to NASA management in which the OIG reviewed NASA’s cleanup commitment at SSFL. The report reviews the cost effectiveness and practicality of the AOC that NASA management signed and spells out NASA’s role in the cleanup of SSFL. The report does not make any requirements of NASA management nor does it impact NASA’s cleanup obligations at SSFL. NASA is legally bound to honor the AOC and to cleanup the site as the responsible party.
  3. While the United States District Court’s ruling enjoined enforcement of Senate Bill 990, the court’s decision does not impact the 2010 AOCs that DTSC negotiated with DOE and NASA. DTSC is responsible for the interpretation and implementation of the AOCs and DTSC expects DOE and NASA to continue to implement actions in compliance with the agreements.
  4. The applicability and validity of Senate Bill 990 does not affect Boeing’s obligations to clean up chemical and radiological contamination on those portions of the site for which it is responsible. Boeing is legally required to clean up the contamination to a level that will protect the environment and health and safety of your community. DTSC will continue to require Boeing to fulfill that obligation.
  5. Transfer of the NASA property by the U.S. General Services Administration before the completion of cleanup activities at the site would trigger the “early transfer” provisions in the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). Any proposed transfer of this nature would require the Governor of California, DTSC, and responsible state agencies to make a determination that the property is suitable for transfer and that there are adequate assurances that any response action will not be compromised or delayed.

Thank you for your interest in supporting the SSFL cleanup. DTSC will continue to review and oversee the SSFL investigation and cleanup activities in a manner that effectively protects the local communities and environment. If you have questions regarding the content of this letter, please contact me at (916) 324-3148 or via email at stewart.black@dtsc.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

(signed)

Stewart W. Black, P.G.
Deputy Director
Brownfields and Environmental Restoration Program.

cc: (sent via e-mail)

Mr. Mike Judge
Mayor Pro Tem
City of Simi Valley
2929 Tapo Canyon Road
Simi Valley, California 93063
mjudge@simivalley.org

The Honorable Glen T. Becerra
Councilman
City of Simi Valley
2929 Tapo Canyon Road
Simi Valley, California 93063
gbecerra@simivalley.org

The Honorable Keith L. Mashburn
Councilman
City of Simi Valley
2929 Tapo Canyon Road
Simi Valley, California 93063
kmashburn@simivalley.org

The Honorable Steven T. Sojka
Councilman
City of Simi Valley
2929 Tapo Canyon Road
Simi Valley, California 93063
ssojka@simivalley.org

Simi Valley City Manager
2929 Tapo Canyon Road
Simi Valley, California 93063
citymanager@simivalley.org

Mr. James Purtee
Interim Assistant City Manager, Government Affairs
2929 Tapo Canyon Road
Simi Valley, California 93063
jpurtee@simivalley.org

Ventura County Board of Supervisors
800 S. Victoria Avenue
Ventura, California 93009
clerkoftheboard@ventura.org

Mr. Allen Elliott
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
George C. Marshall Space Flight Center
Mail Code: AS10
Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama 34812
allen.elliott@nasa.gov

Mr. Peter Zorba
Remedial Project Manager
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Santa Susana Field Laboratory
5800 Woolsey Canyon Road, MC T-487
Canoga Park, California 91304-1148
peter.d.zorba@nasa.gov

Mr. David Dassler
The Boeing Company
5800 Woolsey Canyon Road
MC T-487
Canoga Park, California 91304-1148
david.w.dassler@boeing.com

Mr. John Jones
Federal Project Director
DOE-ETEC
4100 Guardian Street, Suite 160
Simi Valley, California 93063
john.jones@emcbc.doe.gov

Ms. Stephanie Jennings
Deputy Federal Project Director
DOE-ETEC
4100 Guardian Street, Suite 160
Simi Valley, California 93063
stephanie.jennings@emcbc.doe.gov

The Honorable Daniel M. Tangherlini
U.S. General Services Administration
1275 First St NE
Washington (NE) DC 20002-3370
daniel.tangherlini@gsa.gov

Ms. Ruth Cox
Regional Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
450 Golden Gate Ave, Room 5W-2690
San Francisco, California 94102-3661
ruth.cox@gsa.gov

Ms. Deborah O. Raphael, Director
Department of Toxic Substances Control
California Environmental Protection Agency
1001 “I” Street, 25th Floor
Sacramento, California 95812-0806
debbie.raphael@dtsc.ca.gov

Ms. Nancy Bothwell,
Senior Staff Counsel
Department of Toxic Substances Control
California Environmental Protection Agency
1001 “I” Street, 23th Floor
Sacramento, California 95812-0806
nancy.bothwell@dtsc.ca.gov

Mr. Ray Leclerc
Assistant Deputy Director
Brownfields & Environmental Restoration Program
Department of Toxic Substances Control
California Environmental Protection Agency
8800 Cal Center Drive
Sacramento, California 95812-0806
ray.leclerc@dtsc.ca.gov

Mr. Mark Malinowski
Branch Chief
Santa Susana Field Laboratory Team
Department of Toxic Substances Control
California Environmental Protection Agency
8800 Cal Center Drive
Sacramento, California 95826
mark.malinowski@dtsc.ca.gov

Clarification of facts pertaining to NASA-administered property at SSFL

April 3, 2013

NASA provides clarification (PDF) to recent inaccuracies made in letters and by media.

NASA Office of Inspector General Releases an audit regarding NASA’s Environmental Remediation Efforts at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory

February 14, 2013

The NASA OIG has released an audit External site icon (PDF) regarding NASA’s Environmental Remediation Efforts at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory.

Press Release associated with release of OIG Audit

NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin today released a report questioning the Agency’s approach to its planned environmental cleanup at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory in California. First opened in 1948, the 2,850 acre facility 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles was the site of nuclear energy research by the Department of Energy and rocket testing by the United States Air Force and NASA. Over the years, these activities resulted in radiological and chemical contamination to soil and groundwater at the site.

Like all Federal agencies, NASA is required to comply with laws and regulations that govern cleanup of contaminants left behind from Agency activities. Generally, responsible parties are required to conduct risk assessments to evaluate the threat that contaminants pose to human health, identify the reasonably foreseeable use of the affected property, and structure their remediation efforts based on those results.

The Boeing Company, which owns and is responsible for the cleanup of the majority of the Santa Susana site, has publicly stated that it intends to preserve its portion for use as open space parkland. This intended use would normally require remediation to a “recreational” level, but Boeing has stated that it will clean its area to a more stringent “residential” level. The NASA portion of the site is also expected to be used as parkland.

In December 2010, NASA entered into an agreement with California officials in which it pledged to clean the soil at the Santa Susana site to its original state before any rocket testing activities began, known as “background” level by 2017. This Office of Inspector General (OIG) review found that NASA has committed to an excessive and unnecessarily costly cleanup of the Santa Susana site. Specifically, the Agency agreed to clean its portion of the site to a level that exceeds the generally accepted standard necessary to protect human health in light of the expected future use of the land.

Moreover, although the precise requirements of the cleanup and therefore its ultimate cost have not been finalized, NASA estimates that remediation to “background” levels could cost more than $200 million, or more than twice the cost to clean the site to “residential” levels and more than eight times the cost to clean it to a “recreational” use standard. In addition, because cleanup to background levels may require highly invasive soil removal, there is a risk that such efforts would result in significant damage to the surrounding environment as well as to archeological, historical, and natural resources at the site.

The OIG questioned whether NASA’s agreement to clean its portion of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory to background levels is the best use of limited NASA funds. Given NASA’s other environmental commitments and the fiscal constraints facing the Agency and the Nation, the OIG concluded that NASA can ill afford to spend tens of millions of dollars to clean up an area beyond its risk level or intended land use.

The OIG recommended that NASA reexamine its current plans for the Santa Susana cleanup and ensure that its remediation effort is conducted in the most cost-effective manner in keeping with the intended future use of the property. In its response to the report, NASA failed to indicate whether it agreed or disagreed with our recommendation and whether it would reexamine its current cleanup plans. Instead, the Agency pledged to work toward a cleanup that achieves “cost avoidance” and preserves cultural and natural resources within the requirements of their agreement with the State of California. However, the OIG cautioned that it is not clear that the Agency can achieve the most appropriate and cost effective remediation effort given the constraints of the current agreement.

The full report can be found on the OIG’s website at http://oig.nasa.gov/ under “Reading Room” or at the following link: http://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY13/IG-13-007.pdf

Please contact Renee Juhans at 202-358-1220 if you have questions.

Renee N. Juhans
Executive Officer
NASA Office of Inspector General
(202) 358-1220

NASA Releases 2012 Year in Review

January 31, 2013

The 2012 Year in Review summarizes the activities of a year of progress in the cleanup of land NASA administers in two areas of Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL). We continue to make frequent contact during the year with community members and interested stakeholders.

Meeting notes from the NASA SSFL Consulting Party Meeting October 30, 2012

January 30, 2013

Notes from the October 30, 2012 NASA SSFL Consulting Party Meeting have been posted to the Section 106 page.

SSFL Section 106 Page

NASA SSFL Consulting Party Meeting Notes - October 30, 2012

SSFL FieldNOTE – January 2013

January 18, 2013

Our third update (FieldNOTE) about cleanup at SSFL is now available. This one highlights field surveys that help us characterize the natural habitats on the site and provides information for our Environmental Impact Statement.

SSFL FieldNOTE - January 2013

ISRA Excavation and Removal of "ELV" Soils Has Begun

November 13, 2012

To undertake some Interim Source Removal Action (ISRA) activities in the Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) Service area in NASA-administered Area II before the onset of seasonal rains, NASA has begun excavation and removal of some surface soils. The area being excavated is the southwestern portion of the ELV-1C area.

This action is taken at the direction of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) and with the concurrence of the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). Soils within this portion of the ELV-1C area have been sampled, analyzed, and compared to the ISRA cleanup goals approved by the RWQCB. Any soils with concentrations above these goals will be excavated. Additionally, waste characterization soil samples were analyzed in the ELV-1C area and, with the written approval of DTSC, these soils were screened against the Radiological Trigger Levels (RTLs) provided by EPA in December 2011. The soil sample results in the southwestern portion of the ELV-1C area yielded no radionuclide results at or above the December 2011 RTLs. The soils will be transported for disposal at the Waste Management Landfill in Lancaster, California, which accepts non-hazardous soils.

This decision reflects cooperation among NASA, DTSC and the RWQCB. The parties concluded that, because the EPA’s recommended RTLs are a more conservative screening level than the expected radiological lookup tables (to be finalized next year), and because the southwestern ELV-1C soils results are below the RTLs, NASA should begin this important ISRA work this year, in the attempt to remove approximately 600 cubic yards soil before winter rains.

NASA Has Received Closure Certification from DTSC for Three Groundwater Treatment Units

November 09, 2012

NASA has received Closure Certification from the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) for three Hazardous Waste Management Units on NASA-administered property at Santa Susana Field Laboratory. The Bravo Groundwater Treatment Unit (GWTU), the Delta GWTU, and the RD-09 GWTU, including the associated pipelines between the groundwater extraction wells and the GWTUs are considered closed by DTSC under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

Closure Certificate Acknowledgment from DTSC (PDF) (Text)

NASA posts links to RFI reports

September 05, 2012

The previously submitted RFI reports for Groups 2, 3, 4, and 9 (which include the NASA sites at SSFL) can be found in the RFI - Soils section of the DTSC Document Library External site icon

Meeting notes from first NASA "Section 106" Consultation Meeting March 1, 2012

August 20, 2012

Notes from the March 1, 2012 Section 106 Consultation Meeting have been posted to the Section 106 page.

SSFL Section 106 Page

NASA "Section 106" Consultation Meeting Notes - March 1, 2012 (PDF)

Update on NASA’s National Environmental Policy Act Compliance for Santa Susana Field Laboratory

July 18, 2012

NASA remains committed to a proposed cleanup to background that will meet the Administrative Order on Consent between DTSC and NASA.

We received comments from Senator Boxer and the Council on Environmental Quality regarding the evaluation of alternatives for the preparation of our Environmental Impact Statement. As a result, NASA has chosen to streamline its review in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and analyze only the alternatives of (a) cleanup to background and (b) the “no-action” alternative.

Complete Update

SSFL FieldNOTE – May 2012

May 2, 2012

We are now providing periodic updates about our cleanup at SSFL. This one is about our Field Sampling Plans, which we have undertaken at the direction of, and in coordination with, DTSC.

SSFL FieldNOTE - May 2012 (PDF)

Slides from NASA Community Informational Meeting of March 27, 2012

March 30, 2012

At the March 27, 2012 Community Informational Meeting, these slides were presented.

NASA's NEPA Community Informational Meeting - March 27, 2012

February 07, 2012

Updated: February 08, 2012

This meeting will provide updates on the results of surveys and other data NASA is gathering as it prepares its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Draft EIS is expected to be provided to the public for review and comment in summer 2012. The SSFL EIS Factsheet describes the current SSFL EIS process.

The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. From 6:00 to 6:45 NASA experts will hold informal discussions at various displays that summarize the information and approach NASA is taking to prepare its Draft EIS. From about 6:45 to 8:00 NASA experts and NASA consultants will provide an update on the EIS impact analysis and related studies followed by Questions and Answers between NASA presenters and the public.

Following the Q&A, informal discussions may take place.

The meeting will be in Chatsworth on March 27, 2012:
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel Chatsworth
9777 Topanga Canyon Road
Chatsworth, CA 91311

Note: The hotel may only be entered when heading south on Topanga Canyon Blvd (TCB). To enter heading north, make a U-turn at Lassen St. The hotel entrance arises abruptly as you round the corner on TCB after you pass Lassen St.

Large map for Radisson Hotel Chatsworth External site icon

NASA Releases 2011 Year in Review

February 1, 2012

The 2011 Year in Review summarizes the activities of a year of progress in the cleanup of 451.2 acres that NASA administers in two areas of Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL). NASA is committed to a cleanup of these areas to a level protective of public health and the environment and to ongoing outreach to and communication with the public.

NASA NHPA Section 106 Consultation Process Has Begun

September 30, 2011

NASA is preparing for the NHPA Section 106 consultation process and is seeking interested community groups and members of the public to become consulting parties. Individuals or organizations with a demonstrated interest in the effects of the undertaking on historic properties may request to become consulting parties. For more information on this process and to request consulting party status, please see the NHPA Section 106 page on this site.

EIS Comment Period Has Closed

September 20, 2011

The official comment period to submit remarks on NASA's 'scoping' of its Environmental Impact Statement ended September 19, 2011. If you have questions on any aspect of NASA's EIS process or about NASA's cleanup of the site, or if you would like to be added to the distribution list for future electronic updates, please contact Merrilee Fellows at 818.393.0754 or by email at mfellows@nasa.gov.

Federal Register Publishes SSFL NEPA Notice of Intent

July 7, 2011

Updated: July 8, 2011

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)’s required Notice of Intent (NOI) to conduct public scoping meetings and prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the NASA-administered portion of Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) has been published in the Federal Register.

Federal Register Publication: 76 FR 39443 - National Environmental Policy Act; Santa Susana Field Laboratory External site icon

Additional information describing the EIS process and progress will be posted on this site in the near future.

News Release: NASA Announces Public “Scoping” Meetings for Environmental Impact Statement at Santa Susana Field Laboratory, California (PDF)

For more information on the NEPA process and NASA’s NEPA Program: http://www.nasa.gov/green/nepa External site icon

You may email SSFL NEPA and EIS related comments to: SSFL EIS (Note: Since the scoping period has ended, this email address has been disabled)

NASA Announces On-site Project Manager for the Santa Susana Field Lab (SSFL)

May 11, 2011

NASA is pleased to announce our selection of Peter Zorba as NASA’s Remedial Project Manager for Santa Susana Field Lab. This selection reflects the need for a highly qualified full-time NASA presence at the site as we continue to move into increasingly active remediation of the site.

Prior to this position Peter was the Environmental Engineer and Compliance Officer for the City of Lancaster. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Soil Science, with a Philosophy Minor from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and is a Registered Environmental Assessor (REA), a professional registration administered by the Department of Toxic Substances Control. He has a strong background in remediation efforts, having worked on environmental cleanup projects in California, Colorado and Russia. Zorba is a reserve officer in the Marine Corps, and served two tours in Iraq before returning to the environmental field in 2006.

“I’m very proud to be working for NASA,” Zorba says. “Public service really appeals to me and I feel this job will be a great fit, as though my previous experiences have all come together. I am excited about this new endeavor and I look forward to capitalizing on my strengths to advance cleanup at Santa Susana.”

Peter can be reached by email at peter.zorba@nasa.gov or by phone at SSFL at (818) 466-8843.

SSFL FieldNOTES – April 2011

April 22, 2011

The April edition of the SSFL FieldNOTES newsletter is now available online.

SSFL FieldNOTES - April 2011 (PDF)

Santa Susana Community Bus Tour – April 16, 2011

April 05, 2011

Boeing, NASA, and DOE invite you to attend a bus tour of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory on Saturday, April 16, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please read the Santa Susana Community Tour flyer (04/16/2011) (PDF) for more details.

Note: Seating is limited and an RSVP is mandatory.

NASA Releases 2010 Year in Review

January 21, 2011

NASA reviews a year of progress in the cleanup of federally-administered lands at Santa Susana Field Lab. We are grateful for the involvement of so many local residents and we look forward to an active year of cleanup in 2011. The Year in Review 2010 (PDF) contains a brief summary of highlights of the past year.

NASA Signs an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) with DTSC

December 8, 2010

NASA signed an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) on Dec 6, 2010. The AOC defines the process for characterization and the cleanup of soils at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL).

"NASA is pleased to join with the Department of Energy and the State of California in signing these agreements and will do its part to assist with the Santa Susana cleanup,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “We are committed to working with these partners to address the environmental concerns at this former test site.”

NASA-DTSC Administrative Order on Consent (PDF)

NASA Completes Interim Soil Removal Action Excavation at Ash Pile/Sewage Treatment Plant

November 24, 2010

In recent months, NASA has been excavating soils on the federally-administered property known as the Ash Pile/Sewage Treatment Plant area. The initial excavations were completed in October and confirmation samples were taken to confirm that all soils with levels above the targeted levels (known as “soil remediation goals” or, more colloquially, “ISRA cleanup goals”) had been removed. Those sampling results required a few additional removals. That was completed and again confirmation samples were taken. On November 22, 2010, NASA presented this most recent ISRA confirmation sample data to the RWQCB and DTSC. Results for NASA primary samples and split samples analyzed by the RWQCB were below (that is, better than) ISRA cleanup goals. Site restoration (recontouring the excavated areas and hydroseeding) for these ISRA excavations is planned to be completed by early December.

NASA Interim Soil Removal Action Update Nov. 9, 2010

November 12, 2010

On November 9, 2010, NASA presented an update on recent and future Interim Soil Removal Action ("ISRA") actions. The presentation, by Randy Dean, a NASA contractor with CH2M Hill, emphasized recent actions at the area known as AP/STP (Ash Pile, Sewage Treatment Plant) which targeted dioxin removal. The work is nearly completed, awaiting the results of confirmation samples. Should the samples indicate that minor excavation is still necessary, that will be performed, followed again by confirmation samples. The three targeted "removal" areas each contained some oak trees or included area below the drip lines of oak trees. In response to requests from the public, this presentation shows the particular care that was taken to protect the oak trees as excavations were performed.

NASA Interim Soil Removal Action Update presentation (PDF)

NASA Announces Additional Soil Cleanup at Santa Susana Field Lab

September 30, 2010

NASA Press Release SSFL10-002 announcing additional soil cleanup at Santa Susana Field Lab.

DTSC announces public meetings on the Agreements in Principle between DTSC and NASA and between DTSC and DOE

September 16, 2010

The California State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) invites public comment on the draft Agreements in Principle (AIP) and draft Confirmation Sampling Protocol that have been negotiated with the Department of Energy (DOE) and NASA. For more information on the upcoming public meetings on the Agreements in Principle, please read the Notice of Public Comment Period (PDF).

Joint Settlement Framework between NASA and the State of California

September 13, 2010

A "Joint Settlement Framework Agreement in Principle between The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the State of California Regarding Cleanup of Areas I and II of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory Administered by NASA" was announced on September 3, 2010. The elements of this framework will be implemented following development of an Administrative Order on Consent. A copy of the framework may be viewed at the DTSC website at the link below.

DTSC Document: Joint Settlement Framework Agreement in Principle between The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the State of California Regarding Cleanup of Areas I and II of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory Administered by NASA (PDF) External site icon

DTSC is holding a public comment period regarding this document through October 1, 2010. Comments should be addressed to DTSC by email at: ssfl@dtsc.ca.gov.

The Final Version of the ICRMP Is Now Available

August 24, 2010

The Integrated Cultural Resources Management Plan (ICRMP) for federally owned property at Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) is NASA's mechanism for complying with historic preservation requirements set forth in the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The final version of this ICRMP (PDF) is now available. For further information please contact Donna Holland, (256) 544-7201.

Santa Susana Community Tours Available – June 26, 2010

June 18, 2010

Boeing, NASA, and DOE invite you to attend a tour of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory on Saturday, June 26, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. or 1 - 4:30 p.m. Please read the Santa Susana Community Tour flyer (PDF) for more details.

NASA Information on Disposal of ELV Soil

May 10, 2010

The DISPOSAL of NASA ELV AREA SOILS sheet outlines the technical basis and supporting evidence for NASA's conclusion that the soils identified for cleanup and disposal adjacent to the Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) Area are hazardous and non-hazardous wastes, and that the out-of-state disposal facilities identified are appropriate for disposal of these wastes.

The following sources provide additional information (external links will open in a new browser window or tab):

Update: Additional Soil Cleanup at Santa Susana Field Lab ELV Postponed

April 20, 2010

Questions regarding waste disposal have been raised. NASA voluntarily postpones the start of cleanup. NASA and Boeing are working with DTSC to resolve concerns and move forward.

Two profiles from US Ecology Idaho accepting waste (March 30, 2010)


1 Note: Both titles unintentionally truncated "Cesium 137 Above Background"

NASA Community Information Session, May 4th in Chatsworth 6-9pm

April 21, 2010

NASA announces a community information session on the NASA Environmental Investigations & Cleanup of areas it administers at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. For more information, please see the Community Information Session announcement. (PDF)

NASA Announces Additional Soil Cleanup at Santa Susana Field Lab

April 14, 2010

NASA Press Release SSFL10-001 announcing additional soil cleanup at Santa Susana Field Lab.

NASA's Draft Group 9 RI Report Now Posted by DTSC

April 14, 2010

The Group 9 Remedial Investigation (RI) report was submitted by NASA to the DTSC on November 30, 2009. The public comment period has not yet begun. Here is the link to the Document on the DTSC webpage: DTSC Group 9 RI Document List

Draft Cultural Resources Management Plan now available

April 7, 2010

Update: The public comment period has ended.

The Cultural Resources Management Plan (CRMP) for federally owned property at Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) is NASA's mechanism for complying with historic preservation requirements set forth in the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

A draft version of this CRMP (PDF) is available. The public comment period ended April 2, 2010.

SSFL 2009 Year in Review is Now Available

January 11, 2010

NASA has released the Year in Review 2009 (PDF) describing the activities related to the environmental investigation and cleanup activities completed at SSFL in 2009.

Interim Source Removal Action Fact Sheet Now Available

November 23, 2009

Currently, NASA is implementing a short-term action used to prevent or mitigate risks to human health or the environment before a final remedy has been selected. NASA’s Interim Source Removal Action (ISRA) is designed to remove potential sources of contaminants and improve the quality of surface water discharge.

For more information, please read the NASA’s Interim Source Removal Action Fact Sheet (PDF).

This and other fact sheets are also available on the Fact Sheets page on this site.

Historic Resources Survey Fact Sheet Now Available

November 23, 2009

Federal statutes guide federal agency stewardship of historic resources under their control and provides direction for establishing programs to manage their historic resources.

For the fact sheet, please read the Historic Resources Survey Fact Sheet (PDF).

You also may read the entire Historic Resources Survey and Assessment (PDF, 4.8MB).

This and other fact sheets are also available on the Fact Sheets page on this site.

DTSC's Public Comment Period for the Group 3 RI Report Has Begun

October 21, 2009

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) Public Comment period for the NASA Group 3 Remedial Investigation report began on October 21 and will end on December 4, 2009.

Please see DTSC's Notice of Public Comment Period External site icon (PDF).

An index of the entire report, with links to each section, may be found at:
http://174.143.86.82/files/lib_rcra_soils/group3/rfireport/3756_Group3DocIndex07-21-09.htm External site icon

GSA Conditionally Accepts NASA Report of Excess

October 15, 2009

On September 14, 2009, NASA submitted to the General Services Administration (GSA) a "report of excess" regarding the property administered by NASA at the Santa Susana Field Lab. GSA has conditionally accepted that report.

NASA administers 451.2 acres of property at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) in Ventura County, near Simi Valley. For more than 30 years, NASA has administered this site, primarily for purposes of rocket development and engine testing. In recent years, as NASA’s mission has evolved, there has been a transition in the kinds of launch systems needed, and testing for those systems is being undertaken at other NASA facilities. Following a lengthy period of consideration and review of its current and future needs, NASA has concluded that it has no further need for this property located at SSFL. This review included determining whether any other NASA facility and program had potential need for the NASA-administered property at the Santa Susana Field Lab site.

DTSC Issues for Public Comment a Draft Consent Order between DTSC and Respondents DOE and NASA

October 15, 2009

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has issued public notices announcing a public comment period on draft Consent Orders between DTSC and respondents the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The public comment period ended October 2, 2009.

Links to the public notices and draft Consent Orders may be found on the DTSC website External site icon.

NASA SSFL News Archive

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