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Milestone reached in cleanup of former rocket lab and nuclear testing facility in Ventura County

Department of Energy
Crews demolished that last of 270 Department of Energy buildings at the Santa Susana Field Lab in Ventura County Friday. It's part of a decades-long effort to remove toxic soil and groundwater from the closed federal facility near Simi Valley.

The last of the 270 Department of Energy buildings, on site near Simi Valley, has been demolished.

Federal officials say they’ve reached a major milestone in controversial efforts to clean up toxic waste at a former nuclear testing and rocket lab in Ventura County.

The U.S. Department of Energy demolished the last of the 270 buildings it once had at the Santa Susana Field Lab. A massive, several story high building known as the Sodium Pump Test facility was brought down on Friday.

18 Department of Energy buildings were removed during the last year and a half in the last phase of the agency’s building removal process.

The 2,600 acre field lab was used for a variety of testing from the 1950s into the 1980s. There are major toxic pollution issues on the site. Cleanup efforts have been underway for years, but some area residents are upset over how long it’s taking, as well as the degree of actual cleanup planned.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.