Senator Feinstein Urges the Department of Energy to Ensure Santa Susana Field Lab Cleanup Efforts Meet Superfund Standards
Apr 05 2007
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today urged the Department of Energy to offer assurances that the cleanup of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory meets Superfund standards. The Energy Department is currently in the process of cleaning the site of radioactive and other chemical contaminants.
The following is the text of the letter sent by Senator Feinstein today to Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman:
April 4, 2007The Honorable Samuel W. Bodman
Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20585
Dear Secretary Bodman:
I write regarding the cleanup of Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) and the Energy Technology and Engineering Center (ETEC). I would appreciate it if you would assure the impacted communities and myself that these sites will be cleaned up to the highest standards.
It has come to my attention that the Department of Energy plans to end its clean-up of radioactive material at SSFL next year. Is that correct? I request that you provide me with a schedule for the close-out of the cleanup of radioactive material, identifying what DOE intends to do and by when. Please also indicate whether DOE will commission a site-wide site characterization by the Environmental Protection Agency to identify remaining radioactive contamination, as the Department previously committed to do.
I also understand that DOE has decided to conduct the cleanup of Building 4024 and the Radioactive Materials Handling Facility (RMHF) in conformance with CERCLA and the 1995 Joint DOE-EPA Policy on Decommissioning Department of Energy Facilities under CERCLA. Will the Department complete the cleanup of the full site consistent with CERCLA standards and procedures?
I am concerned that the Engineering Evaluation/Cost Assessment (EE/CA) announced that these contaminated areas could be released for unrestricted residential use. Given DOE’s failure to characterize and clean up the site adequately, I believe residential use without restriction would pose unacceptable risks to the public. For the sake of public health and safety, I urge you to reconsider this decision.
Thank you very much for your attention to this important matter about the future of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory site. I look forward to a prompt response to the concerns raised in this letter.
United States Senator