The ETEC site is located at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), approximately 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, California. From the 1950s until 1988, DOE and its predecessor agencies conducted nuclear and liquid metals research on a portion of the site. While DOE does not own any land at the SSFL (today owned by The Boeing Company), the department is responsible for demolition of the DOE-owned buildings and remediation of Area IV (290 acres) and the adjoining Northern Buffer Zone. The lead regulatory agency for cleanup of ETEC is the State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). However, the cleanup at ETEC is governed by many laws and regulations, and other federal, state, and local regulatory agencies.

Calendar Year 2022 Accomplishments

  • Completed the demolition and waste disposal of all DOE-owned buildings at ETEC
  • Continued work to protect groundwater by capturing and removing approximately 13,000 gallons of contaminated material, keeping it away from the deeper bedrock groundwater
  • Coordinated with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Botanic Garden to collect and preserve seeds from an endangered plant species on-site, Braunton’s milkvetch (Astragalus brauntonii). These seeds will be used for future site restoration

Planned Cleanup Scope 2023–2033

Over the coming decade, EM will work with the state of California to reach a final agreement and Record of Decision (ROD) to enable the cleanup of contaminated soil. The State of California is expected in 2023 to issue a Final Program Environmental Impact Report, which is a necessary step for the state to approve DOE’s remediation plan. If DOE and the state can reach a timely resolution on remaining issues, EM could begin soil cleanup activities by 2025. DOE will also work with the state of California on final groundwater treatment approaches

Key Regulatory Milestones 2023-2033

n 2010, DOE signed an Administrative Order on Consent with California regulators that required soil remediation to background. EM is committed to meet this obligation and is engaging with California regulators on a path forward.

ETEC’s Sodium Pump Test Facility, the final building for demolition, amid blasts from shaped charges.

ETEC’s final building for demolition - the Sodium Pump Test Facility - amid blasts from shaped charges.

Post-2033 Cleanup Scope

Remaining cleanup activities at ETEC post-2033 will depend on progress made on soil and groundwater remediation during the next 10 years. The envisioned end-state for the ETEC site is an open space for the surrounding community to enjoy and to provide habitat for the wildlife of the Santa Susana Mountains. The land’s future as an open space habitat will preserve the land as a wildlife corridor, benefit the unique and critical habitat of local plants and animals (many of which are protected) and preserve its many Tribal and cultural resources.

Debris is removed following the Sodium Pump Test Facility demolition.
Debris is removed following the Sodium Pump Test Facility demolition.