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Field Lab Monitors to Meet

Simi Valley session will include updates on contamination near and at the Rocketdyne site.

March 19, 2004|From a Times Staff Writer

The next meeting of a public group that monitors cleanup of Rocketdyne's Santa Susana Field Lab is scheduled for Wednesday evening at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center.

Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, which is coordinating the meeting, will again discuss the EPA's system for rating the hazardousness of the site, which was used for nuclear energy tests for four decades. The lab now tests rocket engines and laser optics.

Last fall, the EPA decided that the level of radioactive contamination at the lab, though troubling, was not severe enough to place it on the federal Superfund priority list.

The session, scheduled from 6:30 to 10 p.m., will include an update on investigations into perchlorate contamination at and near the site. Perchlorate is an ingredient of rocket fuel, fireworks, road flares and explosives. Representatives of the Regional Water Quality Control Board and the state Department of Toxic Substances Control are expected at the group's meeting.

The Department of Energy, which commissioned Rocketdyne to conduct the nuclear testing, is not expected to be represented at the session. A DOE spokesman said the agency would continue public outreach to discuss its lab cleanup.

The meeting will be in the multipurpose room on the lower level of the arts center, 3050 Los Angeles Ave. For more information, call EPA project coordinator John Beach at (415) 972-3347.

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