Bell Canyon

Sampling at the nearby community of Bell Canyon was conducted in June 1998 to evaluate whether chemical or radiological contaminants had migrated from the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) into the Bell Canyon area.

Bell Canyon is located to the south of SSFL.  The residents of Bell Canyon are the nearest residential neighbors. Stormwater runoff from a large portion of Area IV flows through the Bell Canyon area and concerns were raised about the possibility of contaminants moving from SSFL and into the neighborhood.

The sampling was performed by Boeing contractors and observed by three regulatory agencies: the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC); the Department of Health Services Radiologic Health Branch; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  A environmental scientist from the California State University at Northridge (CSUN) was also involved in the observation of this effort.

Results from this investigation show that contaminants have not migrated from the SSFL into the Bell Canyon area.

In October 1998, the results of the sampling project were presented to the residents of Bell Canyon. Click here for a copy of the presentation (11.3 MB).

Available Documents

A written work plan was developed to support the sampling.  The first document contains the field sampling workplan while the second incorporates an EPA fact sheet about regulatory oversight of SSFL, the Health and Safety Plan, and the Quality Assurance Plan:

The final report was prepared and distributed in two volumes:

The EPA reviewed the work plan, provided oversight of the field work, took split samples and analyzed the samples for radiological constituents. The following are the EPA results which confirm the Bell Canyon sampling report results. Several agency letters providing their results (and in some cases interpretations) of the Bell Canyon samples are also available

The DTSC took split samples for chemical analysis.  DTSC concluded that the dioxin levels observed at Bell Canyon were safe.