Trace Amounts of PCBs Found in Soil at MHS

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In an email sent out to families and staff for Malibu High and Juan Cabrillo Elementary schools, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati said “trace amounts of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)-containing materials” were found in the soil of the now-demolished A/B/C buildings on the MHS campus. 

The district believes that the PCBs may have “migrated into the soil” from the foundation of the demolished buildings.

Though the district stressed chemical concentrations were below the threshold set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), SMMUSD has decided to remove the soil. 

“Despite the agencies’ position that this level of PCBs in the soil poses no risk, we have listened and we are respectful of the sentiment of Malibu citizens regarding the issue of PCBs; therefore, we have chosen to remove the soil,” Drati said.

It is unclear how much it will cost the district to remove the newly found PCBs.

The removal is set to take place Aug. 16-18 and 20 (if need be), following the high school and middle school’s “Get Your Stuff Day.”  Air monitoring and dust mitigation procedures will be put into place during the time span.

Anyone with questions or concerns can contact SMMUSD Chief Operations Officer Carey Upton at