More PCBs Detected in Malibu High Soil

Woodshop Buildling

An area surrounding Malibu High School’s woodshop building remains closed off due to the detection of unspecified levels of PCBs in the soil, according to a district spokesperson. 

Valerie Martinez, who was recently hired by the district for public relations, said on Thursday that California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control requested “additional testing” after PCBs were detected. When asked for specific levels, she was unable to disclose hard numbers. 

However, in an email shared with Malibu Unites, DTSC reps said, “The soil sample data reported the presence of Aroclor 1254 in five samples in this area that are in excess of the USEPA Residential [Regional Screening Levels] at 590 ug/kg, 270 ug/kg, 1,500 ug/kg, 720 ug/kg, and 700 ug/kg.”

Aroclor 1254 is a class of PCB that was used in building materials between 1930 and 1979, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are classified as human carcinogens and were first detected on the Malibu High/Middle School campus in 2010. Several tons of the contaminated soil were trucked from the middle school quad that summer, unbeknownst to parents. 

Martinez said the district is waiting on followup tests to determine its next steps. 

“Once this additional evaluation is completed, we can determine if any actions are needed. For now, per our commitment to the community, and in an abundance of caution, we didn’t open that portion of the field outside the woodshop building,” she said.