Top of Page (AccessKey T)


Spring 2024 FieldNOTE is now available

Published: 4/29/2024

The Spring 2024 FieldNOTE provides an update on the Groundwater U workshop series and onsite tour, introduces NASA’s new Groundwater Project Manager, provides an overview of NASA’s groundwater cleanup process and progress, and includes an update on demolition of the Coca Test Stands, with photos.

Year in Review highlights NASA’s progress at SSFL during 2023

Published: 1/19/2024

Throughout 2023, NASA continued to make headway toward cleanup of its portion of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL). The 2023 Year in Review describes activities in the areas of groundwater and soil cleanup, demolition, and cultural resources management. NASA looks forward to a new year of significant progress as we move closer toward our goal of achieving a cleanup that is protective of the community and the natural environment.

Upcoming Public Listening Session for the upcoming SSFL Groundwater University workshop series

Published: 1/18/2024

The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), in coordination with NASA, Boeing, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), has invited the public to participate in an online listening session to prepare for the upcoming Groundwater U (Groundwater University) workshop series focused on groundwater at SSFL. The Listening Session will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Interested stakeholders will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide input about the upcoming Groundwater U Workshops.

You can attend by registering for the Remote meeting (Zoom) External site icon. The public is also invited to complete an online survey External site icon to provide input on the Groundwater U sessions.

NASA continues evaluation of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) at SSFL in line with Agency-wide initiative

Published: 10/30/2023

NASA is committed to protecting human health and the environment in all activities and is implementing an agency-wide initiative to identify past uses and possible source locations of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) at NASA centers and associated facilities, including the SSFL. Currently, PFAS are classified as unregulated or “emerging” contaminants, which have no federal or state of California regulatory standards or routine water quality testing requirements. PFAS have been used in hundreds of industrial and commercial products since the 1950s, including nonstick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain resistant fabrics and carpets, consumer packaging, and some firefighting foams. Due to their widespread use in everyday products, PFAS chemicals are prevalent in the environment.

As part of the agency’s forward-leaning approach, NASA conducted a Preliminary Assessment (PA) at SSFL in 2021, which identified areas where potential PFAS releases may have occurred. In 2022, NASA began a Site Investigation (SI) to determine the presence or absence of PFAS in soil and groundwater in or near the areas of potential concern that were identified in the PA. None of the surface or subsurface soil samples exceeded EPA screening levels for residential soil exposure scenario. Some groundwater samples within six historically active operational locations areas exceeded EPA screening levels for a residential tap (drinking) water exposure scenario. Most of the screening level exceedances are minor, localized, and consistent with limited historical use of PFAS in some NASA areas. The groundwater beneath SSFL is not used for drinking water and there is no indication that PFAS are migrating in groundwater beyond the NASA property lines. Consistent with the agency-wide approach, NASA will conduct additional groundwater sampling to further understand the nature and extent of PFAS in NASA areas. NASA has shared the results of SI with DTSC and will continue to monitor the federal and State of California PFAS regulatory status and will implement regulatory requirements and protective measures as necessary.

NASA has developed a fact sheet summarizing the status of its PFAS investigation at SSFL. NASA has also made available the full NASA SSFL PFAS Site Investigation Report.

Summer 2023 FieldNOTE

Published: 8/17/2023

The latest edition of NASA's FieldNOTE Newsletter is now available for review. This edition provides an update on NASA’s progress with Coca demolition, and update on the status of development of NASA’s groundwater cleanup plans, NASA’s onsite Bedrock Vapor Extraction (BVE) treatability study, NASA’s planned evaluation of soil backfill options and lab capabilities, and brush-clearing preparations for wildfire season.

Phase 5 Demolition Progress

Published: 5/26/2023

These photos show the progress of the Phase 5 demolition activities between 2021 and 2022.

Bravo Test Area
This photo shows the Bravo Test Stands prior to demolition, and fully intact. The stands are blue metal on the bottom, with white tanks stacked on top. Atop the entire stand are large flare stacks that look like exhaust pipes protruding from the top. Large rock outcrops and blue skies are in the background, against which the Bravo Stands are situated.
June 2021
This photo is from a similar angle, after demolition. The same large rock outcrops are in the background. The hillside has been graded and dirt, rock outcrops, and trees and shrubs are all that remain, aside from some straw wattles and strategically placed rocks that are being used for erosion control purposes.
May 2022
A large crane is shown on the ground, adjacent to the Bravo Test Stands. Attached to the end of the crane is one of the very large flare stacks, which looks like a large pipe with a bucket-shaped top. It is being lowered to the ground at the worksite in front of the Bravo stands.
Demolition crews remove on of the flare stacks, or "tiki torches" from the Bravo Test Stands.
In this photo, you see the base of a large crane truck. In front of the truck, tied to large cables is a yellow crane end, that has just been removed from the Bravo Test Stands. Workers stand on a concrete slab surrounding the crane, as it is being placed onto the ground.
Workers stand to the side as the old Bravo Test Stand crane is lowered to the ground.
This photo shows a close-up view of the top of Bravo Test Stand 2. The yellow crane on top of the test stand is being pulled away from the stand, and attached to cables of a larger crane that extends up from the ground. The four flare stacks are still intact on top of the test stand and are shown in this photo next to the crane arm being removed from the stand.
One of the first things removed from Bravo Test Stand 2 was the crane at the top of the stand that was used to move engines into place for testing.
This photo shows a view of the Bravo Test Stands just as demolition was beginning. A large crane stands towers over the Bravo Test stands, which are still fully intact, containing three large flare stacks at the top, and a large, yellow crane end extends from the top side of the test stand.
Bravo demolition began in June 2021.

NASA’s Bedrock Vapor Extraction Pilot Study is Officially Underway

Published: 3/16/2023

As part of the Agency's continuing effort to address cleanup of groundwater under the 2007 Order for Corrective Action, NASA has kicked off its pilot study to test the effectiveness of bedrock vapor extraction (BVE) to clean up contamination in the underlying bedrock matrix beneath the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. Please view the BVE fact sheet to learn more about the pilot study, including how BVE works, and how the SSFL BVE system's design utilizes the Agency's green engineering and sustainability practices.

NASA begins demolition activities in the Coca Test Area

Published: 2/9/2023
February 2023: This photo shows the Coca Test area that is slated for demolition this month. There are two large metal test stand structures with cranes at the top. The bottom of the test stands are built into the bedrock, and have large metal slides at the bottom, known as the flame bucket. The overall dimensions of the two large test stands are approximately 98 feet in length, 73 feet in width, and 105 feet in height, Rock outcrops mixed with green grass and shrubs are seen in the background and foreground.
Coca Test Stands

NASA continues to make progress with its demolition program at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), a critical part of the Agency’s preparations for final cleanup. This month, the Agency is moving into the first of three phases planned for the dismantling and removal the Coca Test Stands and Control House over the next three years.

The Coca Test Stands are the last of the four remaining test stands currently slated for demolition. In 2020, NASA announced it would preserve and retain the two Alfa Test Stands and Control house and proceed with the demolition of structures in the Bravo and Coca Test Areas in accordance with the 2014 Programmatic Agreement External site icon, ending a 2015 deferral of the demolition of test stands. NASA completed demolition of the Bravo Test Area in 2022.

Pre-demolition is now underway, and field crews have mobilized to complete biological surveys, conduct abatement activities, and make other preparations to ensure demolition activities are protective of workers, the public, and the site’s important cultural and biological resources.

NASA’s top priority at SSFL, including for demolition, is the health and safety of the community and our field teams. All demolition activities are conducted in accordance with NASA’s Demolition Standard Operating Procedures, approved by DTSC in 2011, the 2014 NASA Record of Decision for Demolition External site icon, and all applicable state and federal regulations and requirements.

The Coca Test Stands supported historic space exploration programs such as the 1960s Apollo Program that sent astronauts to the moon, as well as the Space Shuttle Program in the 1980s. NASA recognizes the role the Coca Test Stands played in these historic achievements and the Agency has identified several artifacts from within the test stands and control house that will be retained for historic preservation. You can sign up to receive notifications about demolition and other NASA SSFL updates by subscribing to our NASA SSFL Communications E-List.

SSFL FieldNOTE - Spring/Summer 2022

Published: 6/10/2022

NASA has published its latest edition of the FieldNOTE Newsletter for NASA’s cleanup activities at Santa Susana. This Spring/Summer 2022 newsletter provides an update on NASA’s progress with demolition, ongoing work on two groundwater pilot studies, and NASA’s agency-wide effort to investigate Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) at NASA centers and facilities.

Cleaning Up Groundwater at SSFL

Published: 6/10/2022

NASA is making progress toward the cleanup of groundwater in NASA areas at SSFL in line with the 2007 Consent Order. For an update on NASA’s efforts, including next steps, please view our infographic on Cleaning up Groundwater at the Santa Susana Field Lab.

Page 1 of 13