Reading Room

Please print out, sign, and mail.

Governor Gray Davis
Attn: Lynn Schenk, Chief of Staff
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Davis,

I am outraged and extremely disappointed that, despite its deplorable history of mishandling hazardous and radioactive wastes, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has been given a permit by the State of California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) to build and operate a $32 million on-site hazardous waste treatment facility.

In view of LLNL being a Superfund site (that is, it is among the most contaminated facilities in the United States) with ongoing, documented spills, accidents and releases of extremely dangerous materials such as plutonium and tritium as well as heavy metals, PCB's, volatile organics, high-explosive compounds and a multitude of other chemical pollutants, I am concerned about the risks to the community's health and safety posed by LLNL's waste operations. Since Livermore Lab has shown over the years that it is incapable of safely handling the dangerous wastes it generates, how can it be trusted now and in the future?

DTSC is mandated with protecting public health and safety from the serious risks caused by lethal substances such as those contained in LLNL's hazardous and "mixed" radioactive wastes. DTSC has failed this mandate. DTSC's own records show that, despite its issuing LLNL numerous notices of violations over the years, the Lab has continued to be out of compliance with safety regulations and guidelines. Further, Livermore Lab has flagrantly ignored regulations requiring it to report waste accidents to regulatory agencies, such as DTSC, including one such 1998 incident after its most recent application for the permit was filed with DTSC!

In July 1999, Livermore Lab failed a Dept. of Energy (DOE) waste audit. The audit team cited numerous deficiencies in LLNL's waste handling records and practices, including incomplete paperwork and waste surveys that were not conducted according to schedule. All waste shipments from Livermore Lab to the Nevada Test Site have been halted pending resolution of the 33 corrective action orders issued by DOE.

I urge you to stop this permit from being implemented by requesting its immediate revocation by DTSC. Moreover, DTSC should prepare an Environmental Impact Report (as required under the California Environmental Quality Act) for LLNL's hazardous and radioactive waste operations before deciding whether to issue any permit.

The future safety of the Livermore community, and, potentially, of the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, depends upon your taking these concerns seriously. Please act now!