Boeing Ordered to Clean Up California Field Laboratory

Cleanup costs are expected to be hundreds of millions of dollars.

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The California Environmental Protection Agency announced a comprehensive framework that calls for for Boeing to clean up areas at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory in Ventura County.

Boeing’s cleanup costs are expected to be hundreds of millions of dollars. 

The former field laboratory spans 2,850 acres and rests on a plateau 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles. 

Industrial activity at the site ended in 2006 after 59 years of research, development, assembly and testing of rocket engines, chemical lasers and small-scale nuclear reactors by companies, including Boeing, the U.S. Department of Energy and NASA.

Radionuclides and other contamination remain and the framework sets the goal of making the site safe for future generations. 

Boeing’s duties include cleaning up radionuclides in the soil to levels that would exist locally without industrial activity. 

Additionally, Boeing must remediate chemical contamination to a health-protective standard that could be as precise as ensuring it would be safe for people to live on-site and consume homegrown produce from a backyard garden. 

After soil cleanup, the framework states stormwater runoff from Boeing’s areas of responsibility will not be polluted. 

The framework follows a 15-month legal mediation to avoid additional litigation under an earlier consent order. 

Boeing released the following statement

"Boeing supports the comprehensive framework with the State of California as it provides a clear, accelerated path forward for Boeing’s cleanup at the former Santa Susana Field Laboratory. The framework protects the important environmental and cultural resources at the site, which will never be developed under a conservation easement. It is a win for California and reflects Boeing’s deep commitment to safety, sustainability and the communities where we live and work."

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