Is Santa Susana a toxic rocket or tribal ceremony site? Depends on who you ask

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The Santa Susana Field Laboratory sits on a rocky mountain above Bell Canyon. Photo courtesy of John Luker.

For decades, a large area of land west of LA was the testing ground for space exploration, spilling toxic pollutants that still haven’t gotten cleaned up. But long before it was used for rocket tests, native people held winter and summer solstice ceremonies there. A new historic designation could protect cultural heritage sites but further delay cleanup.