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EPA: 'Some Concern' Over Possible Transport Of Soil From Santa Susana

SIMI VALLEY ( — Federal regulators held a community meeting Wednesday to discuss the findings of a radiological investigation at a polluted testing site near Simi Valley.

KNX 1070's Brian Ping reports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency discussed the final results of its radiological investigation at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL).


In 2009, EPA received $41.5 million to investigate low-level radioactive contamination at the 470-acre site in the hills between Simi Valley and Chatsworth.

The Superfund investigation of the area collected approximately 3,500 soil and sediment samples and 215 groundwater and surface water samples from the site that has been the home of rocket engine and nuclear testing for more than 50 years.

About 500 samples showed traces of cesium-137 and stronium-90 that exceeded background levels for the area, according to EPA Coordinator Mary Aycock.

Aycock said the radiation levels are not enough to pose a health risk to the nearby population, but that could change depending on how the cleanup is eventually carried out.

"Once the cleanup starts, if soils are being transported from the site, that certainly would be of some concern if some soils are being transported through your neighborhood," Aycock said.

A federal judge in April 2011 ruled that a California law that laid out strict cleanup standards for Santa Susana is unconstitutional.

The ruling was considered a legal victory for the site's current owner, Boeing, which argued the cleanup rules were unreasonable.

Click here (PDF) to read the full results of the EPA Radiological Characterization Study.

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