Dept. of Toxic Substances Control’s Role in Malibu High Cleanup


The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has retained the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to oversee its consultant, Environ, as it tests and removes potential contaminants at Malibu High School and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School. 

Here are DTSC’s responsibilities, as laid out in the contract’s scope of work: 

1) DTSC will coordinate and attend meetings with both consultants and community stakeholders, coordinate with other regulatory agencies that may be involved, issue fact sheets and notices, and insure that project information is available online to the public. 

2) Review plans to remove the contaminants and propose any additional work or areas of additional concern, if needed. Following an initial review, a scoping meeting will be held to discuss whether further tests are necessary. 

3) Ensure that Environ is following state guidelines in conducting a Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA), to determine whether removing substances at the site poses a threat to human health or the environment. 

4) Review and comment on plans for public participation to be made by Environ, which are to include a scoping meeting to make sure interested public and community are involved in the DTSC’s decision-making process. Environ must also prepare a community profile to determine the community’s knowledge of the site; types of community concerns; prepare a community mailing list; and proximity of the site to homes, churches and daycares, among other factors. 

5) Review and approve fact sheets to be submitted by Environ to be submitted to a community mailing list. 

6) Review and approve a Health and Safety plan by Environ to cover measures to be taken during testing and remediation to protect the health and safety of workers at the site as well as the general public from exposure to hazardous waste, substances or materials. The plan should “describe specific personnel, procedures and equipment to be utilized.”