The Simi Valley Acorn reports on Friday, October 28, 2005, that the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) Workgroup will meet again on January 11, 2006, 6:30 p.m. Wed., Jan. 11 at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center. The SSFL Workgroup is lead by the federal EPA
According to the Acorn, this is a meeting originally scheduled to occur earlier but postponed because of a conflict in schedules on the part of California DTSC participants in the Workgroup. The paper further reports that the delay has frustrated some environmentalists.
The immediate controversy regarding the Santa Susana Rocketdyne facility, now owned by Boeing, concerns whether or not the facility is responsible for perchlorate contamination being found in Dayton Creek, a creek that runs through West Hills, California (part of the City of Los Angeles and about 1.5 miles to the east of Rocketdyne). A developer (Centex) is planning a residential development surrounding the creek. As the Acorn summarizes the controversy:
The origin of perchlorate has caused further disagreement between the two sides.
Centex, Boeing and the DTSC all say there is a lack of evidence connecting the perchlorate found in Dayton Creek to Rocketdyne’s test field.
Residents and environmentalists believe it’s unreasonable to think the perchlorate came from any source other than Rocketdyne.
Fitzpatrick [a spokesman for Centex] said that because of perchlorate’s high solubility, it should be found in soil and water samples taken at points between the test field and the Centex property. Tests of those samples, Fitzpatrick said, found no perchlorate.
Thus, Centex officials don’t believe the perchlorate found in Dayton Creek came from Rocketdyne.
The alternative explanation is that the perchlorate source in Dayton Creek is an area known, ironically enough, as "Happy Valley." This is where Dayton Creek originates and perchlorate levels in the soil at that site have been found as high as 75,000 parts per million (that's high). The paper reports:
Ali Tabidian, professor of hydrogeology at Cal State Northridge for more than 16 years, said he thinks that because of the faster water current typically found higher on a hill, it’s reasonable to assume the perchlorate was washed further downstream into areas—like Dayton Creek—where the water pools.
In any event, I'll report further when there is coverage of the SSFL Workgroup's scheduled January meeting.