SANTA SUSANA FIELD LABORATORY



Phil Rutherford Consulting

Offsite Impact of SSFL

For over 30 years, activists, legislators and media have misled the public about SSFL. Finally, here is a compilation of evidence that SSFL has NOT impacted the health of its neighbors.

Nuclear Decommissioning at SSFL

A major activity at SSFL has been the decommissioning of DOE-owned and Boeing-owned nuclear and radiological faciities in Area IV.

Since 2000, politics, legislation, litigation and regulatory abuse and inaction has interfered with the established decommissioning process, and delayed radiological cleanup at SSFL. 

PSR-LA Petition & Complaint

PSR-LA allege that demolition debris from decommissioned former nuclear facilities should be classified as low-level radioactive waste.

Petitioners: Physicians for Social Responsibility - Los Angeles, Southern California Federation of Scientists, Committee to Bridge the Gap and Consumer Watchdog.

Respondents: Department of Toxic Substances Control and California Department of Public Health.

Real Party In Interest: The Boeing Company
________________________________

Response to PSR-LA Petition and Complaint

Response to PSR-LA Appeal

Response to Appellants' Opening Brief in the PSR-LA Appeal

Response to PSR-LA Petition to the California Supreme Court

Response to Petitioners' Claim of Victory in PSR-LA Litigation

DTSC-Boeing Settlement Agreement

On May 9, 2022 DTSC announced a Settlement Agreement "to hold Boeing accountable to its cleanup obligations at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory."

A primary objective is for Boeing to cleanup radionuclides (but not chemicals) in soil to background, in its areas of responsibility. The following paper provides an opposing view.

Jared Blumenfeld's Conflict of Interest

Request to the California Attorney General to conduct a conflict of interest investigation on CalEPA Secretary Jared Blumenfeld.

One month later, Mr. Blumenfeld resigned as CalEPA Secretary.

Personal Communication with Federal and State Officials

The correspondence below concerning legislative, regulatory and operational actions related to the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) has been prepared by myself, acting as a private citizen and community resident.

The material has benefited from the knowledge acquired during my twenty five years as Senior Manager of Radiation Safety at SSFL before my retirement. However the views and opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Boeing Company, the Department of Energy (DOE) or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Neither Boeing, nor DOE, nor NASA has approved this correspondence, neither has it been sought. I alone am responsible for its content.

Senate Bill 990 (2007) and Health and Safety Code ยง 25359.20
Request for Revocation of SB 990 Language
after being Struck Down in Federal Court.
Request for Removal of SB 990 from DTSC Website.
Date Communication
November 16, 2020 Letter to Senator Henry Stern
Email transmitting above letter
November 16, 2020 Letter to Grant Cope, DTSC
Email transmitting above letter
November 16, 2020 Automated email from Senator Henry Stern's OffIce
November 17, 2020 Email from Grant Cope, DTSC
November 19, 2020 Letter from Attorney General's Office
December 4, 2020 Letter to Attorney General's Office
Email transmitting above letter
June 17, 2021 Email to Grant Cope, DTSC

No substantive response has been received from Senator Stern or the California Attorney General or others on cc regarding H&S Code 25359.20.

As of 2023, DTSC finally removed all references to SB 990 from its web site.


DTSC-Boeing Settlement Agreement
Opposition to the Settlement Agreement
Date Communication
May 26, 2022 Email to Chinh Sheow, DTSC
May 31, 2022 Email to Grant Cope and Steven Becker, DTSC
Attachment to above email
Opposition to Settlement Agreement
June 11, 2022 Comments on Kimberly Gettmann's Memorandum
Email to DTSC Staff transmitting above paper
June 11, 2022 Email to DTSC Staff
Unanswered Questions

DTSC has failed to directly address any of my comments on the Settlement Agreement.


2020 Amendment to Order on Consent
Opposition to Management of Non-radiological Building Debris
as Low-level Radioactive Waste
Date Communication
November 15, 2020 Questions and Issues Related to the Amendment to Order on Consent
Email transmitting above paper
November 29, 2020 Letter to Steven Becker, DTSC
Email transmitting above letter
March 11, 2021 Email to DTSC Management
Public Records Act Request for DTSC - CBG Communications
March 26, 2021 Letter from DTSC Senior Counsel, Arthur Pugsley
Response to Public Records Act Request
Email transmitting above letter
July 8, 2021 Email to DTSC Senior Counsel, Arthur Pugsley
Public Records Act Request
July 16, 2021 Email from DTSC Senior Counsel, Arthur Pugsley
Public Records Act Request
August 15, 2021 Letter to Meredith Williams, Director, DTSC
Public Records Act Request
Email transmitting above letter
August 27, 2021 Letter from DTSC Senior Counsel, Ross Colburn
PRA Final Response - DTSC/Hirsch Communications
Email transmitting above letter
August 28, 2021 Email to DTSC Management
Reply to PRA Final Response

DTSC has failed to directly address my opposition to sending non-LLRW to a LLRW disposal site.


2020-2021 DOE Waste Characterization at the Energy Technology Engineering Center
Review of Data Package for FOIA EMCBC-2022-00149-F

A FOIA request (EMCBC-2022-00149-F) was submitted for shipping records for the building demilition debris waste generated following the demolition of the non-RMHF decommissioned facilities and non-radiological facilities, discussed above.

Complaint to DOE Energy Technology Engineering Center

Review of waste profiles and waste manifests for decommissioned material and debris from buildings with no history of radiological use, reveals that falsified data has been used, in a blatant attempt to mischaracterize non-LLRW as LLRW.

Data on over 400 shipment manifests were systematically inconsistent and transparently illogical. Shipping manifest radionuclide concentrations did not match waste stream profiles. Multiple different containers with significantly different waste weights were assigned identical total and individual radionuclide activities, which is physically impossible. Multiple different containers were assigned identical waste weights and identical total and individual activities, which is physically impossible. Container weighted average concentrations were derived from container total and individual radionuclide activities rather than vice versa. The apparent falsification of data and total lack of any quality control of manifest data by all participants, North Wind, DOE and EnergySolutions is troubling.

A complaint was submitted to all levels of DOE management including ETEC, EM-1, and Secretary Granholm, North Wind management, EnergySolutions management, and DTSC management. All have failed to respond to, or dispute, these allegations.

Complaint to DOE Office of Inspector General

A complaint was submitted to DOE's Office of Inspector General (OIG Complaint 23-0160-C). DOE closed the investigation at an indeterminate date stating that, "no further action was warranted." The OIG refused to say when the investigation was closed and why the complainant was not notified of the closure, citing unspecified "Privacy Act Restrictions."  A FOIA request (HQ-2024-01160-F) was submitted for the investigation records and is currently in progress (see below).

Complaint to Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control

A complaint was submitted to the Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control (WMRC) (Complaint DRC-2023-001509). WMRC closed its investigation, stating that EnergySolutions had complied with its license and WAC requirements, however it did not address any of the specific allegations of the complaint, and it was unable to provide any documented evidence that any investgation of the allegattions had been conducted. A Utah GRAMA public records request was submitted, and a response confirmed that no records of the investigation existed. A final appeal to WMRC was made to re-open the investigation of the specific alegations in the complaint. A response is currently pending (see below).

See correspondence below.

Date Communication
November 17, 2021 FOIA Request for Records - EMCBC-2022-00149-F
Letter from Michelle Farris, Office of Chief Counsel, DOE EMCBC
September 29, 2022 Response to FOIA Request - EMCBC-2022-00149-F
Letter from Melody C. Bell, Deputy Director, DOE-EMCBC
January 10, 2023 Letter to Josh Mengers, DOE ETEC Project Director
Response to FOIA Data Package
Email transmitting above letter
February 9, 2023 Letter to Doug Hansen, Director, Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control
Shipments of Waste from the Former Energy Technology Engineering Center
Email transmitting above letter
February 10, 2023 Letter to DOE Inspector General
Shipments of Waste from the Former Energy Technology Engineering Center
Email transmitting above letter
April 9, 2023 Email to the Utah Division of Waste Management and the DOE Inspector General
Irregularities in DOE's Waste Shipments from ETEC to EnergySolutions
May 16, 2023 Letter from Utah WMRC
WMRC response finds that EnergySolutions complied with its license and WAC requirements, and did not accept greater than Class A LLRW from ETEC. This of course was not the allegation.  None of the specific allegations in the complaint were adressed or disputed. WMRC closed its investigation.
May 20, 2023 First Utah GRAMA Records Request
Request for complaint investigation records
June 6, 2023 Email response to GRAMA Records Request
States that no records of the investigation exist other than those (e)mail communications between complainant and WMRC. Note that this email was not received on June 6, 2023, but was received February 9, 2024
July 20, 2023 Follow-up to Utah Complaint DRC-2023-001509
Email to Otis Willoughby, WMRC
July 25, 2023 Waste Characterization by the Department of Energy at the Energy Technology Engineering Center
Presentation to the Health Physics Society Annual Meeting in National Harbor, Maryland
August 1, 2023 DOE Waste Characterization at the Former Energy Technology Engineering Center
Email to DOE, DTSC, North Wind, EnergySolutions, Utah DWMRC, and CalEPA.
Challenge to respond to allegations.
February 7, 2024 Complaint 23-0160-C
Email to DOE Inspector General requesting the status of the complaint
February 8, 2024 Complaint 23-0160-C
Email response from the DOE Inspector General stating that the investigation had been closed at an earlier unstated date.  The OIG stated that, "no further action was warranted."  A FOIA request would need to be submitted to learn of the results of the investigation.
February 8, 2024 FOIA Request for File on OIG Complaint 23-0160-C Investigation
Email to DOE FOIA Officel
February 8, 2024 Complaint 23-0160-C
Email to DOE OIG forwarding copy of the FOIA request
February 9, 2024 FOIA HQ-2024-01160-F
Acknowledgement letter from DOE FOIA Office
February 9, 2024 Utah GRAMA Records Request
Email to Utah Public Records Office
Attachment 2023-07-20 Email
February 9, 2024 Email response from Alyssa Stringham, Utah GRAMA Records Officer
Email denying that records of investigation of Complaint DRC-2023-001509 exist
February 9, 2024 Second Utah GRAMA Records Request relating to investigation of Complaint DRC-2023-001509
Email with GRAMA Records Request Form
February 12, 2024 Complaint 23-0160-F
Email containing third and final refusal of DOE OIG to tell me what date the investigation into Complaint 23-0160-C was closed and why I was not informed. OIG cited unspecified "Privacy Act Restrictions. The OIG declined tto explain why a closure date and the lack of notification to the complainant could be considered "private."
February 16, 2024 DRC-2024-004475
Letter including denial of appeal regarding complaint and GRAMA request dated May 20, 2023. Statement that specific allegations in the complaint were outside WMRC's scope of regulatory interest.
Email transmitting above letter.
February 16, 2024 Response to February 9, 2024 GRAMA Records Request
Statement that no records exist of an investigation of the specific allegations of the complaint other than (e)mail communications between complainant and WMRC.
February 17, 2024 Email request to Utah WMRC to re-open investigation into complaint regarding ETEC waste shipments
Requested WMRC re-open the investigation and address the specifics of the allegations of the complaint.
February 22, 2024 Email to FOIA Office regarding HQ-2024-01160-F
Email request to the DOE FOIA Office for and estimated completion date for the FOIA request. Email also requested clarification why the investigation closure date and reason why complainant was not notified of the closure, was subject to "Privacy Act Restrictions."
February 26, 2024 DOE FOIA Office Email Response
Email response from the DOE FOIA Office stating that the DOE FOIA Office will request records of the complaint investigation from DOE OIG, records that DOE OIG had refused to provide to the complainant. The DOE FOIA Office will then forward potential records to the complainant. The DOE FOIA Office was unable to provide an estimated completion date, and chose to ignore the question related to alleged "Privacy Act Restrictions."
February 26, 2024 Email response to the DOE FOIA Office
Complainant questions the efficiency and transparency, or lack thereof, of this process.
March 6, 2024 Interim Letter from DOE FOIA Office HQ-2024-01160-F
Letter from DOE FOIA Office denies request for fee waiver and request for expedited response.
Email transmitting above letter.
March 7, 2024 Letter to DOE FOIA Office HQ-2024-01160-F
Reply to DOE FOIA Office questioning requester status, and denial of fee waiver and expedited processing.
Email transmitting above letter.
March 7, 2024 Email from FOIAOIG
Email from FOIAOIG verifying that the "FOIA request is in the search stage" and committing to "provide a response as quickly as possible."
March 27, 2024 Email from FOIAOIG
Attachments include ...

FOIAOIG also offered to provide copy of email by which complainant was notified that investigation was closed.
March 30, 2024 Letter to Anthony Cruz, DOE OIG FOIA
Response to March 26/27, 2024 email and letter from FOIAOIG.
Email transmitting above letter.



The Boeing Company


Department of Energy (DOE)


National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)


California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC)


California Department of Public Health - Radiologic Health Branch

  • Although SSFL has had a California Radioactive Materials License since 1962, the Radiologic Health Branch maintains no online material documenting its oversight of SSFL

Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board


Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)


National Park Service (NPS)


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)


American Jewish University - Brandeis-Bardin Campus


Wikipedia

As with all sources of information on the internet, one should use caution in using information on Wikipedia. Check the citations to ensure that they are original sources. Be suspicious of citations that are media articles that express opinions or quote third party opinions about controversial issues.


Other Sources

In the interest of openness and impartiality, several other organizations host websites expressing a variety of misguided opinions on SSFL.  The reader is cautioned to fact check this material against official sources above.