The Chumash tribe wants to take over part of a toxic waste site near Simi Valley, because it’s also the site of some historic Native American artifacts.
The tribe is seeking to take over some land owned by NASA at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, near Simi Valley.
The former facility was used for nuclear testing, and rocket engine development for decades, but has been the focus of concern in recent years because of leftover toxic wastes believed to be impacting the soil, and groundwater.
The 2800 acre site is largely owned by Boeing, but NASA also owns portions.
Chumash leaders say they’re worried that without tribal ownership, pictographs, and other historic elements on the site will be destroyed.
The proposal brings up big issues about cleanup of the land, because the state is still trying to determine how much cleanup NASA is liable to conduct on its property.
A federally approved tribal takeover wouldn’t exempt the land from cleanup, but it might give the tribe a say in the process.