Because of Public Pressure, District directs Environ to test the Soil at MHS and JC

Because of Public Pressure, District directs Environ to test the Soil at MHS and JC

The following letter was sent to the task force on March 10th, 2014. At the board meeting there were several people that spoke during public comment about the necessity of soil testing on both campuses (especially since the recent ammouncement of WWII activity in the area) and comprehensive testing of the classrooms for multiple toxins. Oscar de la Torre pushed the rest of the board and Sandra Lyon to test the soil. The pressure from the parents in collaboration with Oscar de la Torre was successful in getting Sandra Lyon to put into print the soil will be tested. Now we need to make sure it is full and comprehensive testing aimed at ensuring that our children are not exposed to any toxins from the soil.

The next board meeting is March 20th in Malibu at City Hall. I hope each of you will come with your families for at least 1 hour (approx. 6-7pm) so that the board and Sandra Lyon can see how large a group United we all are. During Public Comment, we will ask for a show of hands from teachers, students and parents.

We need to keep the district accountable for their actions and help guide the investigation to leave no stone unturned in addition to oversight of the work they perform. Our children and their teachers deserve a healthy, clean and toxin free environment. Together and united we can make that happen.

-Malibu Unites

Jennifer deNicola


Dear Task Force,

As I presented  to the Board of Education in its general meeting on  Thursday, March 6, 2014, Environ, the newly hired environmental engineering firm,  is in the process of gathering information to  create a plan for investigation of the Malibu High School (MHS) and Juan  Cabrillo Elementary School (JCES) campuses, as part of our goal to assure school health.  Their work has begun, and their first step is focusing on data collection.   This includes reviewing all documents pertaining to the properties and environmental work done to date, including the work conducted by Mark Katchen, who did our preliminary testing.   Last Thursday, Environ employees walked the Malibu High School campus with district staff and Mark Katchen.   I want to clarify a few points to address school community members’ questions.


  1. Mr. Katchen is no longer affiliated with the environmental investigation in any way; as part of Environ’s research,  he was asked  to provide a tour of the site and specify the work that he conducted to date.
  2. Environ will outline a plan to implement best management cleaning practices throughout the district, as appropriate.
  3. We have made clear to Environ that further testing, including soils testing at MHS and testing at JCES, must be included in the work plan.


I have requested a timeline from Environ, which I will make available to you.


Thank You,

Sandra Lyon


Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District

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