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Final RCRA Facility Assessment Report for Rockwell International Corporation Rocketdyne Division Santa Susana Field Laboratory

<-- LA Rocketdyne Nuclear Meltdown

Download: RCRA Facility Assessment Report (PDF)

Final RCRA Facility Assessment Report for Rockwell International Corporation Rocketdyne Division Santa Susana Field Laboratory

Prepared for U.S. EPA Region 9, San Francisco, CA

May 1994

Department of Toxic Substances Control Memorandum, April 2004

Lockheed-Martin to perform audits of Rocketdyne laboratory data.


The first step in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrective action I~J process is the RCRA Facility Assessment (RFA). The RFA is conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assess if a release of hazardous waste or hazardous constituents has occurred from a solid waste management unit (SWMU). The Ii main components of an RFA are to identify and gather information on releases at the RCRA facility; to evaluate SWMUs for releases to all media (groundwater, surface water, air, and soil); and to make preliminary determinations regarding releases of concern and the need for further actions and interim measures at the facility.

An RFA has been conducted for the Rockwell International Corporation, Rocketdyne Division, Santa Susana Field Laboratory, Ventura County, California. This RFA consists of the following tasks: 1) preliminary review of the Rockwell files and other information gathered from the U.S. EPA Region IX, the California Department of Health Services (DHS)/Toxic Substances Control Program (DTSC), the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) Los Angeles Region, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). From the information ascertained in the files, a picture of the facility began to develop, however, more information was required in order to conclude if a release of hazardous waste had occurred from any of the SWMUs.

In order to fill in the data gaps and to verify the information found during the preliminary review, 2) a visual site inspection (VSI) of the facility was conducted from August 27 through 31, 1990. The VSI consisted of visiting all of the SWMUs identified during the preliminary review, and included a document search at the University of California, Los Angeles Library for more information related to radiological releases in Area IV. During that document search, 48 boxes of documents generated by Atomics International, a division of North American Aviation (which eventually became identified as Rockwell International) from approximately 1940 through 1970 (the contractors prior to Rockwell/Rocketdyne at this site) were reviewed. Most of the documents were periodic progress reports submitted to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) as part of a contractual agreement between the contractor and the AEC. Unfortunately, because the documents did not specify the location of the nuclear facilities, it could not be determined if the documents pertained to the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL). Therefore, these documents were not used for this report.

Forty-five of the Areas of Concern (AOCs) identified during the preliminary evaluation were not visited during the VSI and, therefore, could not be evaluated. Most of these areas consisted of old leachfields. The location of these leachfields (based upon the file reviews) could not be determined by the Rockwell representatives either because the areas were covered by vegetation or the facility representatives could not remember where the leachfields were located.

Although this is a RFA, releases from units that managed non-RCRA regulated waste (Le., I California wastes) were also evaluated, and the findings are presented in this report. (Radioactive materials are regulated by the DOE, and not by EPA or DHS.) We have also I. included several hazardous material product storage areas as AOCs. In addition, comments from the surrounding community were received and are included in this report.

The final results of the preliminary review and the VSI account for a total of 69 SWMUs and 55 AOCs at the Rockwell International Corporation SSFL.

Download: RCRA Facility Assessment Report (PDF)

<-- LA Rocketdyne Nuclear Meltdown

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