Public Risks from the Woolsey Fire and the Santa Susana Field Laboratory: A Letter to DTSC

Prior to the first round of data analysis, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control reported that its scientists “do not believe the fire caused any releases of hazardous materials that would pose a risk to people exposed to the smoke.”

“A common denominator in every single nuclear accident – a nuclear plant or on a nuclear submarine – is that before the specialists even know what has happened, they rush to the media saying, ‘There’s no danger to the public.’ They do this before they themselves know what has happened because they are terrified that the public might react violently, either by panic or by revolt.”

—Jacques-Yves Cousteau

On November 19, representatives Henry Stern and Jesse Gabriel authored a joint letter to Barbara Lee, Director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). In their letter, posted to social media, Senator Stern and Assemblymember Gabriel call for “full transparency” to “ensure the public is fully aware of any public health risks posed by the Woolsey Fire on Santa Susana Field Laboratory.”

Henry Stern represents nearly 1 million residents of the 27th Senate District, which includes Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Malibu, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, part of Santa Clarita and the following Los Angeles communities: Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Encino, Porter Ranch, Reseda, Lake Balboa, Tarzana, West Hills, Winnetka, and Woodland Hills.

Jesse Gabriel represents Assembly District 45 comprised of the cities of Calabasas and Hidden Hills, a small portion of unincorporated Ventura County and several neighborhoods in the City of Los Angeles: Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Encino, Northridge, Reseda, Tarzana, Warner Center, West Hills, Winnetka, and Woodland Hills.

Senator Stern and Assemblymember Gabriel outline five specific requests regarding transparency from the DTSC, and conclude, “Given the serious and unsettling nature of this situation, we respectfully request that all information and data be disclosed as quickly as possible. Our community—and the broader public—deserve answers.”

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