March 21, 2014
Jeff Ruch, Executive Director
Paual Dinerstein, Senior Counsel
Jennifer de Nicola, President, Malibu Unites
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
2000P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Dear Mr. Ruch, Ms. Dinerstein and Ms. De Nicola,
I received your letter dated March 18, 2014, and I thank you for your input.
The Public Participation Plan anticipated by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and the agencies will ensure a transparent process for public review and comment on the investigatory and subsequent activities being undertaken to address the environmental concerns.
SMMUSD declines to finance a separate review by independent experts. Under California and federal law, the DTSC and EPA retain final authority to oversee and approve investigatory activities by SMMUSD. SMMUSD has entered into a Voluntary Investigation Agreement with the DTSC which requires that we reimburse the agency for its expert oversight activities. Because the agencies possess the requisite expertise, and legal authority, to oversee the process – at the expense of the SMMUSD – we cannot justify compensating a third party reviewer. We are comfortable that the EPA and DTSC will execute their public duties in the best interest of our school district, staff, teachers and students.
cc: Jared Blumenfeld, EPA Region IX Administrator
Patrick Wilson, Region IX, EPA
Steve Armann, Region IX, EPA
Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response,
Deborah Raphael, director, California Department of Toxic Substances Control
Tom Cota, California Department of Toxic Substances Control
Senator Barbara Boxer
Congressman Henry Waxman
State Senator Fran Pavley
State Assemblyman Richard Bloom
LA County Supervisor (3rd District) Zev Yaroslavsky
Carol Serlin, Principal, Environ