Tribe wants part of contaminated rocket lab

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SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) – A California tribe wants part of the contaminated Santa Susana Field Lab where rocket engines were tested at the dawn of the Space Age. Boeing Co. owns the majority of the 2,850-acre former Rocketdyne testing facility near Simi Valley where there was a partial nuclear meltdown in 1959.

But 452 acres administered by NASA interest the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians because of a cave adorned with Native American pictographs and evidence of tribal dwellings. NASA declared the land excess federal property in 2009.

The Ventura County Star says the tribe is concerned about preserving the Indian sites as the state continues to investigate the extent of cleanup. A federal judge ruled last year that a state law detailing stringent cleanup standards that exceed Superfund requirements was unconstitutional.

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