The state’s poison control agency is collecting public debris on the removal of dirt at Jordan High School • Long Beach Post News


Since 2012, ongoing renovations at North Long Beach High School have required crews to excavate what the Long Beach Unified School District found “contained chemicals of concern”. In the summer of 2013, the district removed about 549 tons of soil containing chlordane, a chemical pesticide used to treat termites, until it was banned in 1988 after it was discovered to be a potential carcinogen.

In 2018, LBUSD identified about 130 cubic feet of additional soil mixed with the banned pesticide near Buildings 200 and 250, a classroom, and the cafeteria. A review by the geological consultancy firm Leighton Consulting, Inc. found that the soil should be removed.

An exemption notice from the Department of Toxic Substances Control detailed what the removal plan would include. The ground removal is expected to take place in June and will take approximately 20 days to complete. The aim of soil removal is to reduce potential risks to human health and the environment.

The Department of Toxic Substances Control concluded that soil removal would not have a significant impact on human health and the environment, according to a public notice posted on the State Department’s website, but the soil removal plan was still open to public comment .

The notice states that it will originally be collecting comments from the public for this project from March 18 to April 17, but some of the comments that have been collected have asked for an extension period.

“Unfortunately, not everyone within the community was notified before the comment period opened on March 18 and ended on April 17,” Gamaliel Ortiz, a department spokesman, wrote in an email. “As DTSC is committed to ensuring that communities have the opportunity to contribute to the cleanup, we have extended the deadline.”

Activists from the East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice have criticized the department, stating that they “did not properly and meaningfully inform and involve young people, parents, school teams and community residents”.

With the public comment extension now in effect, the group will host at 5 p.m. on the 26th. To join, click here.

To leave a comment with the Department of Toxic and Substances Control, click here.

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