San Fernando Valley Audubon has been actively involved for years in planning for the clean-up of Santa Susana Field Laboratory. “The Lab” is a rich habitat for wildlife including endangered, threatened, or rare plants and animals. 138 species of birds have so far been observed on the site. As open space is increasingly developed in and around the Los Angeles area, a large undeveloped hilly area like the SSFL -- which is guaranteed by its owners to remain undeveloped -- is increasingly precious to the wildlife that we all value.
The Department of Energy, which is responsible for the clean-up of a portion of the site, published its Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the clean-up in January and held two public hearings in February. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement includes alternatives to allow for a “risk-based clean-up,” which is favored by SFVAS as the only one that balances all competing priorities. Such a clean-up is consistent with that of other contaminated sites throughout the country. The extreme clean-up of SSFL proposed by some groups would involve exporting enormous amounts of soil on public streets and highways -- many years’ worth of trucks hauling away millions of cubic yards and supposedly replacing them with better soil from somewhere else (TBA?!), with little or no consideration for natural, cultural and historical resources. SFVAS’s stance is that such a destructive and expensive solution is completely out of keeping with myriad toxic waste cleanups that have been deemed sufficient and cost-effective in other -- even far more polluted -- locations.
The Department of Energy is currently accepting comments from the public. San Fernando Valley Audubon urges all those interested in preserving this important area for wildlife to make their feelings known. The deadline for submitting comments has been extended to April 13. Comments can be submitted via e-mail to via a comment portal on the SSFL Area IV EIS website" at http://www.SSFLAreaIVEIS.com.
Snail-mail comments (hurry!) can be sent to this address:
Ms. Stephanie Jennings
NEPA Document Manager
U.S. Department of Energy
4100 Guardian Street, Suite 160
Simi Valley, CA 93063