Press Release 3-14-14

For Immediate Release

DTSC AGREES TO PERFORM COMPREHENSIVE SOIL TESTING

AT MHS AND JUAN CABRILLO

 Major Victory for Malibu Community

 Malibu, March 14, 2014 – A recent email from the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) to Malibu Unites President, Jennifer deNicola, states that the DTSC will perform comprehensive soil testing on the three Malibu school campuses under investigation for toxic and hazardous substances. In 2011, over 1000 tons of contaminated soil was removed from the Malibu High campus. Since October 2013, parent advocates and teachers have been pressing for comprehensive testing of the entire, yet the district would not commit in writing to comprehensive soil testing, nor have they tested any of the soil since 2013.

In an email, Maria Gillette of the DTSC stated the DTSC “is proposing to conduct a Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) for the soil at the entire Malibu HS Campus (including the Middle and Elementary Schools).” She went on to say that the DTSC’s soil sampling effort would be more comprehensive than the work Arcadis conducted in 2010. (a copy of this email can be found at http://malibuunites.com/dtsc-agrees-to-test-soil-at-all-3-campuses/)

Arcadis was the environmental firm hired by the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District to conduct a site assessment for MHS renovations under Measure BB. This assessment revealed the presence of multiple contaminants in the soil, including hazardous levels of such toxins as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), chlordane, DDT, DDE, arsenic, and lead. Arcadis stated, “Pesticides and PCBs were present…at concentrations that presented an unacceptable health risk.” Arcadis removed more than 1,000 cubic tons of contaminated soil from campus in the summer of 2011. The source of the toxins is still unknown.

Malibu Unites, a non-profit advocacy group of parents, teachers and community members will continue to work with the district and state regulatory agencies to ensure that this comprehensive testing is done efficiently, properly and with agreed upon detection limits.

“Expert oversight, independent from the district, will be critical to ensuring accurate and unbiased test results,” says Jennifer deNicola. “We are currently working with experts to determine independent testing protocols and acceptable detection limits to ensure the health and safety of students and teachers.”

Malibu Unites was founded 2014 to bring the local community together in service of a common goal: to understand the extent of contamination on campus and fully remediate to protect our children and those who educate them. To learn more, visit our web site at www.malibuunites.com.

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