SSFL SB 990 and California Superfund

 

SB 990 and the California Superfund Law

SB 990, effective on January 1, 2008, allows DTSC to clean up the site under the requirements and procedures of the California Superfund Law, and to be enforced under the authority of either the California Superfund Law or the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The new law gives DTSC the authority to oversee all aspects of the cleanup including both chemical and radioactive wastes, and allows the use of the State Superfund’s risk assessment process for both the radiological and toxic contamination. It also requires DTSC to use the highest and most protective cleanup standards provided under the "rural residential (agricultural)" land use designation.

Under the State Superfund, DTSC will continue to use information contained within the RCRA Facility Investigations (RFI) Reports. However, additional sampling and characterization may be necessary, and, as mentioned, risk assessment becomes a key factor in determining the method of cleanup. The Remedial Investigation called for under this law will identify the areas and concentrations of contamination in a way that is similar to the RFI.

Upon completion of the Remedial Investigation, a Feasibility Study will be developed. This study examines and compares cleanup options and determines the best way to clean up contamination. The study looks at risks, cleanup methods and costs. A risk assessment will also be prepared. The risk assessment involves evaluating the effects of contaminants and their potential exposure to humans. In addition, the toxicity parameters of contaminants are evaluated to make sure that the latest scientific knowledge is used. These evaluations are based on sound scientific knowledge and fact, and comply with Department and U.S. EPA risk assessment guidance, and policy.

A draft Remedial Action Plan (RAP) is developed and released for public comment. The draft RAP identifies cleanup levels and methodologies. Following a public comment period, a final RAP is issued along with a response to comments document. The cleanup can then begin.

The State Superfund program has provisions for a significant level of public participation. Outreach efforts for the SSFL project will go even further. For details on DTSC’s Public Involvement Activities, click here.

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) informs governmental decision-makers and the public about the potential environmental effects of a particular project. CEQA also identifies ways to reduce adverse impacts if found, offers alternatives to a proposed action and discloses to the public why an action was approved.

DTSC will prepare and circulate for public comment a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The EIR will be released for public review and comment simultaneously with the draft Remedial Action Plan.