SMMUSD Has Spent $600K on MHS Enviro Scare

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Malibu High School administration building

A cost breakdown provided by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District shows the district has spent just under $600,000 in legal, environmental and remediation contracts since news of an environmental scare at Malibu High School, Middle School and Juan Cabrillo Elementary first broke last fall.

Controversy at Malibu High School and Middle School arose in October when a group of teachers came forward with several health concerns, including three suffering from thyroid cancer, though it’s unknown if the cancer and contamination are linked. Juan Cabrillo Elementary was eventually added to the potential area of concern. Frustration further erupted when it was revealed that toxic soils were found at Malibu High in 2010 and the school district did not notify parents about the situation. 

Through May 16, the cleaning firm National Response Corporation and environmental consultant company Environ have been paid $95,000. Pillsbury, a legal firm retained by the district, has received nearly $181,000. Contracts signed with environmental consulting group Phylmar, the Calif. Dept. of Toxic Substances Control and the group Executive Environmental total about $323,000. 

Altogether, the contracts and costs have accumulated to $598,718.81 through May 18, according to figures provided by Supt. Sandra Lyon’s office.