A Commitment to Clean Up the Santa Susana Field Laboratory
Since the 1950s, Area IV of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory has been used for the testing of nuclear energy concepts and applications for liquid metals. As each testing program ended, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) removed the facilities and conducted cleanup actions. Today only 18 DOE-owned structures, out of more than 270 original structures, remain.
Since 2008, CDM Smith environmental experts have helped DOE investigate remaining soil and groundwater contamination, plan site cleanup, and meet federal and state regulatory requirements. The CDM Smith/DOE team also hosted intensive weekly meetings with the community and regulators, and released newsletters to correct misperceptions about contamination. In September 2019, DOE signed the Record of Decision (ROD) for demolition and disposal of its remaining DOE-owned buildings in Area IV. "We helped DOE to craft the ROD, a major milestone," said John Wondolleck, CDM Smith project manager. "It was very gratifying to see our work published in the Federal Register."
Completion of the ROD capped more than 2 years of intense activity for the CDM Smith team. The team helped DOE develop and publish the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for building, soil and groundwater cleanup. The statement evaluated procedures for characterizing contaminated building materials; collecting, handling, and transporting debris; and identifying off-site facilities that possess the necessary permits to dispose of the debris. CDM Smith also provided guidance for DOE to meet all requirements under U.S. and California hazardous waste laws.
At an Energy Technology Engineering Center panel in March 2021, U.S. Department of Energy officials Kurt Gerdes and John Jones highlighted the approach taken on the Santa Susana project, praised the work of Wondolleck and the CDM Smith team, and noted that DOE would likely use the regulatory approach as its model moving forward for other cleanup sites.
The CDM Smith team continues to provide exceptional products...always looking for ways to increase efficiencies and reduce time-to-complete while not reducing quality.
Did you Know?
At DOE’s request to shorten the project by 6 months, the CDM Smith team streamlined review and comment resolution processes. DOE Headquarters has announced their intention to incorporate CDM Smith's innovations into its internal processes for EIS documents.