Waste from the cleanup activities at the Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC) was generated from excavated soil, unusable equipment, unusable supplies, and building debris. After sampling to identify the type of waste, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) packaged and shipped the waste to the appropriate disposal facility according to U.S. Department of Transportation regulations. The types of waste and the disposal facilities to which DOE shipped materials were:
- Uncontaminated waste was disposed at Class III or unclassified municipal landfills in California.
- Hazardous waste and decommissioned material was disposed at California Class I or Class II landfills.
- Low level radioactive waste (LLRW) is disposed at the Nevada Test Site, now know as the Nevada National Security Site.
As part of the decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) process, building debris and soil was radiologically sampled by Boeing, the DOE, and regulatory agencies such as the California Department of Health Services. If it showed that strict Federal and State cleanup standards had been met, then the material was certified as being suitable for release for unrestricted use. Following this certification, and prior to 2002, this material was generally sent to Class III municipal landfills. In September 2002, California Executive Order D-62-02 imposed a moratorium on the disposal of all materials that met federal and state cleanup standards into Class III or unclassified waste management units. This material is called decommissioned material (DM).
Since September 2002, all decommissioned materials from ETEC and Area IV of SSFL has been sent to Class I hazardous waste landfills in compliance with the Governor's Moratorium. As an example, see the document below describing the process used for disposal of decommissioned materials from Building 4024 and 4059.
State Sampling of Landfills
In April 2002, California ordered the sampling of 50 California landfills and failed to find evidence of unauthorized disposal of licensed radioactive material. No evidence of unauthorized disposal of radioactive waste was found. For more information, see the two reports prepared for the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB).
- Radioactivity Sampling Report for Calabasas Landfill Agoura, California, January 2003. This report stated that "The radioactivity data collected for the Calabasas Landfill indicate no evidence of radioactive waste disposal from the Rocketdyne facility."
- Results and Evaluation of Radiochemical Sampling at Six Waste Management, Inc. California Landfills, January 2003. This report stated that "Landfill groundwater and leachate samples collected for this study do not appear to exhibit radioactivity levels of radiological significance, nor do they indicate the presence of the unauthorized disposal of regulated radioactive materials or waste in any of the six landfills examined."