ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE WORK GROUP

PRELIMINARY SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT TO

 THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA KAMALA HARRIS

BY HON. NATE HOLDEN, TRANSITION TEAM MEMBER

 

 

SUPERFUND PROBLEM AREAS

 

INTRODUCTION

 

       As a member of the Los Angeles City Council, I was Chairman of the Environmental and Waste Management Committee. The problems that I have identified in this report address some of the issues that came before my committee and the action that we took. The radioactive contaminated dumping sites are known as “Superfund.” The State legislature, the City of Los Angeles and I as Chairman were pro-active in advocating that these sites be clear of radioactive waste. These types of soil contamination are still ongoing. Much of the waste has not been removed. It clearly falls within the jurisdiction of the Attorney General’s Environmental Justice sub- committee. From the standpoint of Environmental Justice, the committee should recommend that the Attorney General be aggressive and take action to protect the people of the State of California from being exposed to radioactive waste.

 

AREAS OF INTEREST

 

       For years, Rocketdyne Nuclear Research Facility in Simi Hills has knowingly dumped radioactive material in the region. Rocketdyne knowingly dumped radioactive waste at the Bradley Landfill in Sun Valley. This radioactive waste was dumped without the knowledge of the local jurisdiction (the City of Los Angeles). The Rocketdyne Santa Suzanna Field Laboratory dumped low level radioactive waste at the Bradley Landfill for the majority of the past decade without the knowledge of the State regulators or local officials. Even more alarming is the Department of Energy (DOE) officials as of 2004 recommended leaving about 98% or 30,000 truck loads of contaminated soil in place in the Hills between Chatsworth and Simi Valley. The 30,000 truckloads of waste, partially represents 40 years of rocket and nuclear fuel research, which caused extensive contamination. In 2005 Senator Romero introduced Senate Bill 1623, “Radiation Safety Act of 2002” which would prevent the disposal of radioactive waste, except at specified facilities.       For your information I am attaching excepts from SB 1623 (Romero) and what it does.

Council File: 02-0657 “...WHEREAS, the State Senate introduced SB 1623 (Romero) on February 21, 2002 in order protect the public from disposal of potentially harmful radioactive waste; and WHEREAS, SB 1623 (Romero) would prohibit the disposal of radioactive waste at a hazardous waste disposal facility, but would allow the disposal of naturally occurring radioactive materials at specified facilities if these facilities are expressly authorized for such disposal and they comply with various restrictions; and WHEREAS, SB 1623 (Romero) would also prohibit any person from burying throwing away, or disposing of radioactive waste within the State except at a disposal facility specifically licensed for that kind of radioactive waste; and

WHEREAS, SB 1623 (Romero) would in addition prohibit the disposal of radioactive waste at a solid waste facility as specified; and would require the State's Integrated Waste Management Board to adopt regulations requiring testing and screening criteria relative to the radioactivity of submitted solid waste material...”

 

       To further protect the public health from radioactive soil contamination, Senator Kuehl introduced Senate Bill 1444 in 2002 and it does the following.

 

Council File: 02-0002-S37 “WHEREAS, the State Senate, in an attempt to address this type of circumstance, introduced SB 1444 (Kuehl) on February 15, 2002; and WHEREAS, SB 1444 (Kuehl) would prohibit a city or county agency from planning, zoning, or approving any site for residential use, school or child day care facility, any site where a partial or full nuclear meltdown has occurred; and WHEREAS, SB 1444 (Kuehl) would also prohibit any person from selling, transferring, or leasing a site, soil, or structure with residual radioactive contamination for any subsequent land use until the contamination has been removed and transferring to a licensed radioactive waste disposal facility and remaining contamination does not exceed a one in a million risk of cancer...”

 

       It’s been noted that radioactive waste from nuclear power plants in the State is being transported and deposited at control sites. These sites, as designed, are known to be inadequate to prevent radioactive leaks into the surrounding areas.   This has been known to have caused further soil contamination, endangering the water tables. I will provide more data in the future on this issue.

 

Information as to cleaning up contaminated soil for re-use, I refer you to the Brownfield Recovery Act (The City of Los Angeles has a Brownfield program).

 

 

Attorney General Kamala Harris, Transition Team Environmental Justice – Holden / Datig 02.09.11

 

 

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