Report: Ex-Calif. Regulators Helped Boeing Derail Santa Susana Cleanup
SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — Former state regulators allegedly helped officials with Boeing derail the cleanup of a partial nuclear meltdown site in Simi Valley, according to a new report.
“Inside Job”, a six-month investigative report (PDF) from Consumer Watchdog, alleges the aerospace and defense contractor used former regulators at the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and aides of Gov. Jerry Brown “as well as other skilled operatives” to drastically weaken cleanup standards for the Santa Susana Field Laboratory in Simi Hills.
Boeing owns the majority of the heavily contaminated 2,668-acre site used for decades by the federal government to test nuclear reactors, rocket engines, and munitions, according to the report.
Acknowledging that Brown may not have been aware of the events, Consumer Watchdog issued a separate letter (PDF) to the Governor’s office that read: “We provide you this information to inform you and ask you to take this report into serious consideration to fix the dysfunctional leadership at the DTSC. We also ask that you put a full cleanup at the lab back on track.”
“Boeing concluded that it’s cheaper to hire some well-connected hired guns to get out of their obligations than it is to comply with them,” said activist Dan Hirsch.
KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports resident Bonnie Klee – who was diagnosed with bladder cancer after working at the Santa Susanna test site – said she has seen cancer cases in every house on her block.
“I don’t want the chemicals and the radiological contamination left there,” Klee said. “I don’t want another generation exposed to what we’ve been exposed to.”
In a statement, Boeing denied all charges connected to the Santa Susana site.
State and federal officials agreed in 2010 to remove all contamination and return the site back to its natural state.
In September 2013, Consumer Watchdog and three other groups filed a lawsuit alleging that radioactive debris from the site was being deposited into landfills and recycling facilities that are neither licensed nor equipped to handle such material. A Sacramento judge granted a motion for preliminary injunction against the DTSC pending the final outcome.