04 March 2009

Aerojet "Open Burn Open Detonation" Site Declared Safe

This week's Chino Hills Champion has a front page article concerning the declaration by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) that a 14-acre portion of the Aerojet munitions testing facility, known ominously as the "open burn open detonation" area, has been deemed "suitable for unrestricted use."

The 400-acre Aerojet site, ringed by 400 acres of "buffer", operated for forty years, from 1955 until cleanup began in 1995. The "OBOD" area was utilized from 1968 to 1994 on the eastern flank of the facility and, according to the article "was the most heavily impacted portion of the site." An Aerojet spokesperson was quoted as saying that 47,000 pieces of ordinance and tons of contaminated soil, containing the explosive RDX, were removed.

Eight years ago, the DTSC expressed its view that Aerojet was not dealing with the OBOD area quickly enough, while the City of Chino Hills was questioning the technology used for search for ordinance. In 2002, ordinance material and an artillery shell were discovered in Chino Hills State Park, despite the 400-acre "buffer."

As a result of this, Aerojet was required by the DTSC to use federal defense department standards for cleanup of the site and had to hire an outside company to conduct the operations.

Meanwhile, a public meeting is planned for 26 March, although the time and meeting location are not yet known.

I suspect that Michael Collins of enviroreporter.com, who has contacted this blog previously about the Aerojet site, will probably have a thing or two to say about this latest announcement. Links to his site and reporting about Aerojet are on the right side of the main blog page, as are the websites of Aerojet and its parent company, GenCorp. It will also be interesting to see what the City of Chino Hills will do in regard to future development of the OBOD area.

I'll post more on this as information is forthcoming, especially as regards the public meeting.

1 comment:

Michael Collins said...

Thank you for this post. Do you have that article in the Chino Hills Champion? I have looked on their website, which is pretty crude for a "newspaper," and can find no sign of it. Do you have a link or could you (or anyone) e-mail me a scan of it?

Michael Collins