News Release

T – 16 – 08
Maureen F. Gorsen, Director

August 20, 2008

Contact: Carol Northrup
(510) 407-4817

State Orders Immediate Tests of Debris Found at Former Shooting Range
Workers Find Buried Debris Pile During Cleanup


SACRAMENTO – The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) ordered quick action to determine the nature and extent of waste materials found unexpectedly during a soil cleanup near the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) site in Simi Valley.

While removing clay pigeon debris from the former shooting range area on what is now Sage Ranch property next to the SSFL site, contractors for The Boeing Company uncovered debris consisting of industrial glass, piping, metal fragments, household-type wastes and other materials. Debris test results are expected in late August.

“This is a prime example of DTSC acting to protect safety and public health,” said DTSC Project Director Norman Riley. “The unexpected discovery of waste material on public land is a matter of great concern for us all. DTSC is monitoring the situation very closely,” Riley added.

The debris discovery occurred during the final stage of a project to remove lead shot and clay pigeon fragments from the former Rocketdyne Atomics International Rifle and Pistol Club, Inc., shooting range that operated between 1972 and 1991 on land that is now Sage Ranch property.

The new debris was discovered during the removal of clay pigeon material. The new debris occurs in a layer that is up to four-feet deep in some locations, nearly six feet beneath the soil surface in some locations and covering an area of about 200 by 200 feet. The estimated volume of this debris material is approximately 900 cubic yards.

Within hours of being notified by DTSC field scientists overseeing the work, Riley ordered The Boeing Company to sample the debris contents to determine if the material has any toxic or radioactive properties. He also directed DTSC staff to take parallel and simultaneous samples for DTSC’s Environmental Chemistry Laboratory to analyze to ensure the integrity of the sampling and analysis efforts. DTSC expects to release the results later this month.

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FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES: Contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control by phone at (800) 728-6942 or visit To report illegal handling, discharge, or disposal of hazardous waste, call the Waste Alert Hotline at (800) 698-6942.

The mission of DTSC is to protect California’s people and environment from harmful effects of toxic substances by restoring contaminated properties, enforcing hazardous waste law, reducing hazardous waste generation, and encouraging the manufacture of chemically safer products.