Morning Briefing - June 05, 2018
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June 05, 2018

California, DOE Working Out Plan for Cleanup of Santa Susana

By ExchangeMonitor

The Energy Department and the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) aim by the end of 2018 to issue a final environmental impact report for cleanup of DOE’s portion of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory Site (SSFL).

The state and federal agencies have been working closely to finalize steps for remediation of groundwater and other chemical and radiological contamination.

“DOE and DTSC will continue with monthly calls and will meet on a quarterly basis to coordinate review of DOE’s deliverables,” the state said Monday in its April status report on environmental remediation operations at Santa Susana.

California has been engaged in prolonged planning for cleanup of the 2,849-acre property 30 miles from Los Angeles. Boeing and NASA own the Simi Valley site, but DOE is responsible for the 470-acre segment it leased for its nuclear power and liquid metal research at the Energy Technology Engineering Center.

The state in December 2017 finished taking comments on two major documents: the draft program environmental impact report (PEIR) and draft program management plan (PMP).

The Energy Department has completed most of its field investigation into the extent of groundwater contamination at its areas within Santa Susana, DTSC said. In late February, the department submitted an addition to its plan for corrective measures on groundwater and bedrock within Area IV, the state said.

The state agency said it wants to better understand the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found around ponds and leach fields within the Energy Department footprint.

The Energy Department used Area IV from 1955 to 1982 for nuclear energy research. Liquid metals testing ended in 2000. Since then, DOE’s efforts have involved decontamination and demolition of structures and investigation of the nature and extent of contamination in soil, water, and bedrock.

The state hopes full-scale cleanup of Santa Susana can begin in 2019. The Energy Department has indicated soil remediation alone could cost anywhere from $100 million to $1.6 billion.