Change.org has produced a new video about pediatric cancers near the contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory – and the failure of the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to uphold its commitments to clean up the site’s nuclear and chemical contamination. PSR-LA Associate Director Denise Duffield is also featured in the video.

Decades of nuclear and rocket engine testing activities, including a partial nuclear meltdown and other toxic releases and spills, left SSFL heavily polluted with radiological and chemical contamination. Government-funded studies indicate increased cancers for exposed workers and among offsite populations associated with proximity to the SSFL. In 2010, after decades of community efforts for full cleanup, DTSC signed cleanup agreements with the Dept. of Energy and NASA that required them to clean up all detectable contamination in their operational areas of the site by 2017. Though Boeing, which owns most of SSFL, refused to sign the agreement, DTSC in 2010 said that it would require Boeing to clean up to a comparable level.

But the cleanup hasn’t even begun and DTSC is projecting that if there are no further delays, cleanup completion won’t be completed until 2034 — 17 years beyond the state mandated by the cleanup agreements, and nearly 90 years from the time the contamination started. Besides the unacceptable delays, DTSC and the responsible parties are now breaking their commitments to a full cleanup, proposing instead to leave more than 90% of the contamination on site permanently. As it stands now, DTSC’s cleanup plans could put half a million nearby residents at risk of nuclear and chemical exposure for generations.

Change.org made the video after Melissa Bumstead, a West HIlls resident whose daughter Grace is recovering her second fight against leukemia, launched a petition last year that has been signed by over 143,000 people. During Grace’s first treatment at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Melissa met other parents of children with rare cancers who live near SSFL. She mapped over 50 such cases, and now leads efforts to organize families to fight for the promised cleanup. Please sign and share the petition – see https://www.change.org/SantaSusana.