District Releases New PCB Test Results

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SMMUSD

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) Friday released new results for PCB testing in Malibu High School and Juan Cabrillo Elementary, which show PCB levels up to 11,000 times the 50 parts per million (ppm) limit — the safety threshold.

The documents are available in a document on the SMMUSD website.

According to the data, the highest level of PCB concentration is in caulk taken from the music room at Juan Cabrillo Elementary School, where PCB levels are at 570,000 mg/kg (ppm)

According to the document, which was sent from Doug Daugherty and Eric S. Wood, Principals for Environ, the district’s environmental consulting company, these areas “will be addressed using the methods described in the October 2014 Approval.”

This October 2014 Approval is the document from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that dictates the district “remove from Malibu High School and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School any newly-discovered PCB-containing caulk within one year after the District verifies that the caulk contains PCBs at or above 50 ppm.”

According to SMMUSD spokesman Gail Pinsker, that one-year date is the deadline, but district officials hope to work faster.

“That is just the end deadline for us, we’re working on a timeline right now,” Pinsker said.

America Unites for Kids (formerly Malibu Unites) and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) have raised speculations that the SMMUSD and/or Environ intentionally withheld these results until after Thursday’s school board meeting.

“I am stunned that district officials and their consultants stood in front of us on Thursday evening and did not disclose these extraordinarily high test results,” Jennifer deNicola, President of America Unites for Kids, said in a statement.

Pinsker responded that the district’s primary concern is health and safety.

“I can just be a broken record on this, but the health and safety of our students is our number one priority,” Pinsker said.