Actions Address Groundwater, Building Demolition at Area IV of Santa Susana Field Laboratory

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced several significant steps to continue progress in the cleanup of Area IV of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) in Ventura County, California.

In May, DOE and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) signed an Order to demolish ten buildings at the site comprising the former Radioactive Materials Handing Facility (RMHF) complex. Nine of the buildings have been safely demolished and work on the tenth is expected to be completed in 2020. 

DOE is announcing the signing of an Amendment to the May 2020 Order on Consent with the State of California to demolish the eight remaining DOE-owned buildings at the former Energy Technology and Engineering Center (ETEC) research site in Area IV of the SSFL. The action will fulfill DOE’s commitment to complete building demolition at ETEC.

Last year, former Secretary Perry became the first Energy Secretary to visit the ETEC site to see firsthand the challenges that needed to be tackled to complete the cleanup. Following his visit, DOE and the state of California began working together on plans to demolish the last DOE-owned buildings at the site. Today’s announcement is the culmination of the hard work between DOE and California.

“The actions being announced today further demonstrate the Department of Energy’s strong commitment to address the environmental legacy from government research in the Cold War era,” said U.S Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “The Trump Administration has shown that environmental stewardship and partnerships, like the ETEC cleanup with the State of California, are critical to the revitalization and reclamation of communities that contributed to the Nation’s national security mission.”

DOE is also publishing a Record of Decision (ROD) outlining planned groundwater remediation activities at the site where nuclear and liquid metals research was conducted from the 1950s until site operations ended in the late 1980s. The actions will address areas of the site where investigations indicated the presence of chemical solvents and metals from historic site activities. The ROD describes monitoring and treatment approaches tailored to address the contaminants and potential impacts in each affected area of the site, as well as interim actions.  The ROD will be published in the Federal Register in the next 3-5 days.

“Agreement with the State of California will allow DOE to complete building demolition at ETEC, one of the site’s major goals toward final cleanup,” said Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar. “The Record of Decision for groundwater remediation will put effective strategies in place to address another of DOE’s cleanup goals in a meaningful way.”

“These important next steps will build on DOE’s recent record of cleanup progress at ETEC that includes safe building demolition that is already underway,” said William “Ike” White, Senior Advisor for Environmental Management to Under Secretary Dabbar. “We look forward to working with the State of California to move further toward final cleanup at the site.”’


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