Multiple state, federal and local government agencies play a role in the cleanup under way at the former Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL). The primary agencies involved are listed below, along with a short description of their roles and responsibilities related to the SSFL cleanup. Contact information for each agency can be found on the Other Agency Contacts page of this site.
California Department of Public Health (CDPH) – Radiological Health Branch
The CDPH (formerly part of the California Department of Health Services) enforces the radiation control laws and regulations designed to protect radiation workers, the public and the environment. The Boeing Company is licensed by the CDPH to handle radioactive materials at SSFL. Although the CDPH does not have regulatory authority over DOE activities at SSFL, DOE and Boeing have requested that the CDPH verify radiological cleanup procedures and activities. After each site is cleaned up, final sampling results, as well as verification sampling performed by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), were submitted to the CDPH for review. Independent measurements and evaluations were made by the CDPH to confirm that these standards were met. Based on comments received at a February 2007 public meeting, CDPH has not made a decision concerning the extent of their participation in future verification surveys.
Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) – Los Angeles Region
The RWQCB is the lead agency responsible for regulating surface water discharge activities at SSFL. Under the authority of the Clean Water Act and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), the RWQCB sets maximum limits for chemical and radiological contaminants in surface water being discharged from the SSFL site. These limits, along with requirements for discharge sampling, are incorporated into the site’s NPDES Permit which must be renewed every five years. The RWQCB also shares responsibilities with DTSC for monitoring discharges to the groundwater.
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
Under the Atomic Energy Act, DOE has the authority to set cleanup criteria for radiological materials and set radiological protection standards at its facilities. DOE is subject to the AOC that governs the radiological cleanup of surficial media in Area IV. CDPH, DTSC, and in some cases US EPA, review and provide comments on activities related to radiological contamination at SSFL in order to ensure that all regulations and the AOC are properly followed. The DOE provides project funding and oversight of environmental monitoring and restoration activities conducted through the Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC), located in Area IV at SSFL. Activities include site characterization surveys to determine the extent and nature of radioactive contaminants on DOE portions of the site.
The DOE also oversees decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) activities associated with the inactive and surplus DOE facilities at SSFL that have been contaminated with radioactive or hazardous materials. DOE involvement in the D&D process includes the following: review and approval of D&D plans, oversight of D&D processes and coordination of radiological surveys for final release of facilities after D&D completion. All radioactive wastes are processed for disposal at DOE-approved disposal sites, while non-radioactive hazardous wastes are shipped to State-approved disposal sites. The DOE conducts periodic inspections of disposal processing activities (including packaging, labeling and temporary storage) to ensure compliance with applicable DOE orders and policies covering waste disposal. Cleanup of radiological contamination by the U.S. Department of Energy at SSFL is ongoing. With the passage of SB 990, DTSC now oversees and directs the radiological investigation and cleanup activities.
Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VCAPCD)
The VCAPCD is the lead agency responsible for regulating non-radioactive air emissions at SSFL. The VCAPCD is responsible for establishing and enforcing local air pollution regulations that meet or exceed requirements of the Federal and California State Clean Air Acts, and the California Health and Safety Code. The VCAPCD also is responsible for issuing permits that establish requirements for construction, modification and operation of equipment and processes that may result in air emissions. SSFL currently has two VCAPCD air permits, covering various process equipment and groundwater treatment facilities.
Ventura County Environmental Health Division (VCEHD)
Through an agreement with the State of California, the VCEHD is responsible for enforcing regulations on hazardous waste generation, including manifest preparation (shipping documentation) and temporary on-site storage. The VCEHD also administers state requirements for developing a risk management and prevention program, which is required of all facilities that store hazardous materials.
Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD)
The VCFD is the primary fire prevention, fire response, and emergency response agency at SSFL. The VCFD provides emergency response services for fires, search and rescue, and hazardous material spills/releases for Ventura County.
The following agencies have no oversight role at the SSFL Site, but are involved in meetings regarding the cleanup: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides logistical support for Workgroup meetings (a facilitator and venue) and technical consultation to lead oversight agency meetings on a limited basis.