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.”
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.
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 Press Release SSFL10-002 announcing additional soil cleanup at Santa Susana Field Lab.
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 .
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
DTSC is holding a public comment period regarding this document through October 1, 2010. Comments should be addressed to DTSC by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 is now available. For further information please contact Donna Holland, (256) 544-7201.
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 for more details.
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):
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)