In the April 4th update, Superintendent Lyon denies request for cooperation with Malibu Unites independent expert for oversight. She states that she thinks Environ can peer review itself. This is not oversight, this is control. A company can not PEER review itself! Presenting only the district’s expert’s viewpoint to the EPA and DTSC for approval in not independent oversight. The district continues to not show good faith, transparency or concern for community input. The only way to ensure that this process is transparent and trustworthy is to allow full cooperation with Malibu Unites’ independent expert team on behalf of the community.
While the district is more interested in controlling the entire situation, the EPA and the DTSC understand the value of community oversight and working with the experts at Malibu Unites. The EPA will provide our expert the testing plan once they receive it. This plan is due on Friday, April 25th, 2014. Our experts will then make comments and suggestions to the EPA regarding this plan for their approval. Malibu Unites will send the experts comments and analysis to the community. The DTSC has agreed to a similiar procedure when they receive their plan expected in May.
Environ has had ample time to formulate a testing plan and they are solely responsible for slowing down this process. The EPA and DTSC, have both been waiting for Environ’s testing plan to review since late March. Environ asked the EPA for an extension on the March 30th, 2014 deadline to vet the plan to the community. The EPA extended it to April 25th for this reason, but Environ did not vet this plan to the community at all. Instead Environ has added 4 questions to the DTSC survey concerning Best Management Practices (BMP) cleaning, which is a remediation tactic and school cleaning program recommended by the EPA to remove dust that may contain PCBs that can cause exposure. These questions have nothing to do with a testing plan.
BMP is no substitute for identifying the source of the PCBs and removing them so that we no longer have to clean PCBs from the dust or the air. Environ should not be polling the community for a remediation recommendation or cleaning program. They should have the experts to do a scientific analysis of BMP. If the EPA is recommending BMP as an effective remedation tool to reduce exposure, then they should have the testing data to back it up and know exactly how often BMP is necessary to be effective at removing PCBs. Asking our community about remediation before assessing the school with proper and comprehensive testing is not responsible. Once the caulk is tested and sources are identified, we can all discuss remediation options that may or may not include BMP.
Important to note that the Best Management Practice Professional HEPA Cleaning that was done at MHS in December 2013, was not effective. Therefore, no one can assume that BMP performed by our maintenance staff will reduce exposure. For example: the GYM office was pretested at 96.7ng, then BMP HEPA cleaned for approximately $5000, and post-tested at 89ng. This is a 7 ng reduction and evidence that BMP even by professionals is not effective at reducing PCB exposure in the air, so the likelihood of a school’s maintenance staff to do this is not likely. (no wipe samples were taken in this room)
Environ’s proposed schedule shows testing to occur in July, but no plans for remediation. This is not acceptable. This envrionmental issue should not spill into the 2014-2015 school year. The SMMUS Board as well as the Superintendent should be pushing them to a stricter deadline that is in the best interest of the children and teachers. The Board and Superintendent are not doing their job but sitting back and allowing this to drag on at the expense of our children health and stress regarding being in a hostile environment not knowing the cumulative levels of exposure they are receiving.
During the interview process with Environ, they along with the other 3 interviewees proposed that comprehensive testing would be done by the end of the school year so we could remediate during the summer, when no one was on the campus. Other firms that day had presented a complete timeline that showed testing would have been done by now so that we could plan remediation to occur over the summer.
Lyon also stated in her update that the task force agreed to hire Parsons, this is not true; the district hired Parsons all on their own. In the 2009 discovery of toxic soil, another Parsons’ employee, did not inform the parents and staff of the “Pesticides and PCBs (that) were present…at concentrations that presented an unacceptable health risk” as stated in the Arcadis report. Another firm hired the district and reports solely to the district is not considered appropriate independent oversight. Click To Read Update and See the Schedule