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U.S. EPA to perform $1.5 million radiological study at Santa Susana Field Lab EPA and Department of Energy finalize interagency agreement

Release Date: 07/28/2008
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815, cell (213) 703-1635,

(07/28/08) LOS ANGELES -- Under the terms of a recently signed interagency agreement, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will perform a radiological background study at the Santa Susana Field Lab, located near Los Angeles, Calif., using $1.5 million provided by the U.S. Department of Energy.

In addition to the radiological study, the EPA will develop a scope of work, schedule, and cost estimate for a radiological survey of a 290 acre portion of the site referred to as Area IV and the adjacent buffer zone.

“This action resulted from several months of negotiations between the agencies and represents a significant step forward with regard to characterizing the site for radiological contaminants,” said Keith Takata, Superfund Division director in the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “We welcome the opportunity to serve the surrounding communities with our knowledge and resources, while we join our sister agency in the cleanup process.”

House Resolution 2764, a $13 million appropriations bill signed in 2007, grants $13 million to the DOE for cleanup work at the field lab. The EPA will be the lead agency for conducting this work -- expected to begin in late 2008. The agreement does not include the funding to conduct the on-site survey or investigation but the EPA and DOE are committed to finding the resources to perform this work in the upcoming annual Federal appropriation.

“The EPA continues to believe the most effective and efficient mechanism for ensuring a comprehensive site characterization and cleanup occurs is to place the site on EPA's National Priorities List,” added Takata.

Established in 1946, the Santa Susana Field Laboratory covers nearly 2,900 acres in eastern Ventura County. The site has been used for rocket engine tests, nuclear energy research and nuclear reactor development. The site is undergoing a joint environmental cleanup program performed by Boeing, DOE, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and California Department of Toxic Substances Control.

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