The May 2020 edition of NASA’s SSFL FieldNOTE Newsletter highlights NASA’s decision to retain the Alfa Test Stands for historic preservation, provides an update NASA’s Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Soils, and provides an overview about NASA’s planned pilot study to test the effectiveness of enhanced in situ bioremediation to clean up groundwater beneath SSFL.
NASA has made the decision to retain and preserve the two remaining Alfa Test Stands and the associated control house. The remaining structures in the Bravo and Coca Test Areas will be dismantled in accordance with NASA’s 2014 Programmatic Agreement (PA), the document that guides how NASA will protect and preserve cultural and historical resources as it prepares for and conducts SSFL cleanup activities.
While the PA stipulates the retention of only one test stand and control house, NASA determined it is feasible and desirable to retain all three structures within the Alfa Test Area Historic District.
NASA’s decision comes in response to a 2019 NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit report that recommended NASA make a decision on preservation or demolition of the test stands before beginning soil remediation activities.
"The decision to end the deferral and proceed with preservation and demolition activities allows NASA to maintain our commitment to responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars and maximize our time as federal and state regulatory processes continue," said Peter Zorba, NASA SSFL Project Director.
In accordance with the 2014 PA, NASA consulted with the PA signatories—which include the California State Historic Preservation Officer, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians—as well as the Department of Toxic Substances Control during the decision-making process.
The 2014 PA stated that NASA would demolish the Coca Test Area Historic District and retain at least one test stand and control house in the Alfa or Bravo Test Area Historic District. However, in 2015, in response to community and stakeholder interest, NASA agreed to defer the demolition of all the test stands for as long as possible.
Both the first and last engine tests conducted at SSFL took place in the Alfa Test Area: the first in 1955 and the last in 2006.
Due to the rising number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the local area, and to comply with all local, state and federal guidelines, NASA SSFL is moving into Stage 4 of NASA’s coronavirus response framework at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. This effort has been put in place to help slow the transmission of COVID-19 and protect the workforce and community. Access to NASA areas is restricted to mission-essential personnel who are required to perform critical activities and protect life and property.
During 2019, NASA continued to take steps to advance toward conducting a cleanup that utilizes the best science and is protective of the surrounding community and the natural environment. The 2019 Year in Review describes activities and progress made in the areas of soil and groundwater cleanup, demolition, and cultural resources.
Launching Americans from U.S. soil, sending a new rover to Mars and continuing to prepare for human missions to the Moon are just a few of the things NASA has planned for 2020. (no spoken audio)
NASA 2020: See what the Agency has planned on Earth and beyond
NASA is making available to the public the display boards from the November 20 and 21, 2019 SEIS Public Meetings.
NASA is extending the public comment period for the Draft SEIS for an additional 30 days. The public comment period now closes on January 8, 2020.
Public comments will continue to be accepted via email to email@example.com or by traditional mail to Peter Zorba, NASA SSFL Project Director, 5800 Woolsey Canyon Road, Canoga Park, CA 91304.
As part of NASA’s continuing eﬀorts to engage the public throughout the SEIS process, we invite the surrounding community and stakeholders to attend one of the following public meetings regarding the Draft SEIS:
The meetings will be an open house format where the public will have the opportunity to view project display boards, interact with key NASA SSFL team members, and provide formal comments regarding the Draft SEIS in writing and/or orally to a court reporter. Meeting attendees are welcome to arrive and depart to this open house event at their convenience.
The comment period continues until December 9, 2019, and the public, including those unable to attend a public meeting, can submit formal comments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail to Peter Zorba, NASA SSFL Project Director, 5800 Woolsey Canyon Road, Canoga, Park, CA, 91304.
NASA has issued a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register for the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) that evaluates the impacts reasonable soil cleanup alternatives would have on the community and the natural and cultural resources found at SSFL. The Draft SEIS has been prepared because there are significant new circumstances relevant to environmental concerns since the original Environmental Impact Statement was published in 2014.
NASA has prepared a Fact Sheet for the Draft SEIS summarizing the purpose and need for a SEIS, the Alternatives evaluated, and a brief overview of the findings.
Public comments on the Draft SEIS will be accepted October 25 - December 9, 2019 and can be submitted via email to Peter Zorba, SSFL Project Director, at email@example.com . Please see the NOA for a list of locations where a hard copy of the document can be reviewed.
As part of NASA’s continuing eﬀorts to engage the public throughout the SEIS process, we invite you to attend one of the following public meetings regarding the Draft SEIS, where the public can ask questions about the document, and have the opportunity to provide comments:
NASA has published its October 2019 FieldNOTE newsletter. This edition of the FieldNOTE provides updates on progress with demolition and test stand preservation, NASA’s ongoing soil Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement evaluating the impacts of soil cleanup, and NASA management’s recognition of the NASA onsite SSFL team for their swift action following the Woolsey Fire.