California Association of School Administrators Lobbies the EPA to not Enforce PCB Source Testing and Remediation in Malibu Schools

The SMMUSD’s Superintendent Sandra Lyon sought the assistance of the California Association of School Administrators to lobby the EPA to not enforce PCB source testing and remediation in Malibu schools.

See California Association of School Administrators email to the EPA:

California Association of School Administrators Email to EPA

The attached email was obtained through a freedom of information act request.

Thereafter, on August 1, 2014 Laura Preston, legislative advocate for the California Association of School Administrators, sent an email to Jared Blumenfeld, EPA Region 9 Administrator, in which she revealed that her organization had been working with Superintendent Sandra Lyon for several months on the PCB issue in Malibu schools. She expressed that her office had also met with the offices of all of our state and federal elected officials, including the California Governor’s office about this issue.

This email suggested that Blumenfeld’s actions could give the appearance of “preferential treatment “ to Malibu. Preston said that: “…any preferential treatment to the community of Malibu will give the appearance that an affluent largely white community will receive preferential treatment. This can easily become a civil rights issue for all of us.”

This email, unfortunately, reveals the type of political lobbying that has taken place between Sacramento and the EPA to not actively identify and remove the illegals levels of PCBs in Malibu Schools.

As a result of this email, EPA guidance may have been compromised.

See link to the comparison between the new EPA and old EPA guidance:

http://www.peer.org/assets/docs/epa/8_20_15_Comparison_EPA_PCB_guidance.pdf

See attached pdf copy:

8_20_15_Comparison_EPA_PCB_guidance

See Link to News Article Concerning the EPA’s Stealth Rollback of School PCB Safeguards:

http://www.sonorannews.com/archives/2015/150826/news-EPA.html

The EPA is Rolling Back PCB Safeguards and Has Significantly Raised the Toxic Exposure levels for Our Nation’s Children

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/the-epa-is-rolling-back-pcb-safeguards-and-has-significantly-raised-the-toxic-exposure-levels-for-our-nations-children/

See Malibu High School Teachers Pleading with the SMMUSD’s Board of Education

The attached Declarations from Malibu High School teachers Katy Lapajne and Lisa Lambert includes evidence from 33 other Malibu High School teachers that the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) is not complying with their Best Management Practices (BMPs) and is in violation of the EPA Region 9’s guidelines.

Exhibit B to Katy Lapajne’s declaration includes evidence that thirty three (33) Malibu High school teachers have written a letter dated January 15, 2016 to the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District declaring that the School District’s facilities manager admitted on January 8, 2016 that the SMMUSD’s Best Managements Practices (BMPs) for reducing concentrations of toxic PCBs and, therefore, potential exposure to PCBs has not been taking place at all. (See page 2 paragraph 17 of Teacher Katy Lapajne’s Declaration)

See pdf copies of the Declarations from two Malibu High School Teachers:

DECLARATION OF MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER KATY LAPAJNE

DECLARATION OF MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER LISA LAMBERT

The attached declaration from Malibu High School Parent Matt DeNicola declares that former SMMUSD Board of Education member Ben Allen, now California State Senator Ben Allen admitted in September 2014 that the SMMUSD Board of Education chose not to test for PCBs, because they knew that they would find illegal levels of toxic PCBs and be forced to remove them under the TSCA. (See Matt DeNicola Declaration, pg. 1, paragraph 2)

DECLARATION OF MATT DENICOLA RE CALIFORNIA STATE SENATOR BEN ALLEN

See Declaration from Malibu High School Teacher Carla Bowman Smith declaring that Malibu High School’s condition is horrific, and is infested with rats, feces and urine:

DECLARATION OF MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER CARLA BOWMAN SMITH

See America Unites for Kids & PEER TSCA litigation against the SMMUSD:

Motion to Compel due to the SMMUSD’s Refusal to Allow Entry onto Land to Conduct PCB testing:

document-71

Motion to test the caulk containing PCBs at Malibu High School and Jaun Cabrillo Elementary Schools:

document-96

Declaration of Jennifer Denicola with supporting emails from the US EPA Region 9:

document-97

ON OCTOBER 24, 2015 AMERICA UNITES FOR KIDS RELEASED ADDITIONAL DISCOVERY CONCERNING SUPERINTENDENT SANDRA LYON

In 2013-14, Superintendent Sandra Lyon did not tell Malibu High School teachers and parents that their children were occupying classrooms that the previous teacher just reported having thyroid cancer as well as other previous teachers also having cancer.

These rooms then tested at 570,000 ppm of PCBs! The highest level ever found in the NATION!
This public records request proves that Sandra Lyon knew and was asked by the Juan Cabrillo principal when Lyon was going to tell teachers and parents about it (which was never!) Anyone thinking Child endangerment?
Click on picture to expand:

The SMMUSD appears to be more interested in attempting to limit their exposure to liability from a toxic tort complaint, rather than to just simply comply with the TSCA, and protects its students and teachers from this continuing harm.

John Ferbas MS., Hyg., Ph.D stated the following:

“The fact that Malibu High School and Jaun Carillo Elementary School contain caulking with PCB levels orders of magnitude above even the most conservative PEL estimates is egregious.” -Ferbas

Read John Ferbas MS., Hyg., Ph.D. July 2014 letter to the EPA and SMMUSD:

Ferbas-health-letter

SMMUSD Timeline:

See letter to Sandra Lyon and the SMMUSD’s Board of Education dated Oct. 7, 2013 from AMPS, Malibu High PTSA, The Shark Fund, The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu, members of the Malibu High School Site Council, & Malibu Special Education Demanding that the SMMUSD take Steps to Keep Our Children and Teachers Safe:

525375b700692.pdf

In January 2014, SMMUSD staff raised concerns about PCB exposure in Malibu High School and Middle School (MHS) and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School (JCS) after three teachers reported thyroid cancer diagnoses.

See letter to Sandra Lyon from 12 teachers at Malibu High School:

http://www.peer.org/assets/docs/ca/1_13_14_teacher_letter.pdf

1_13_14_teacher_letter-2

The City of Malibu through Resolution No. 14-58 requests that the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) conduct further source testing for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at all Malibu school campuses and in all rooms. Every inch of caulking does not need to be tested to verify there are PCBs. It is reasonable and based on standard building practices is responsible to assume that all like caulking in the same building contains PCBs. 

See City of Malibu’s September 23, 2014 Resolution No. 14-58 below:

9_23_14_Malibu_City_Council_Resolution

Despite the October 2013, January 2014 letters, and City of Malibu passing this Resolution, the SMMUSD refuses to relocate its students and teachers and administer any further testing, even turning down the offer of Malibu parent and supermodel Cindy Crawford to personally pay for the tests. The EPA, in the Oct, 31st, 2014 approval, made very clear that PCBs over 50ppm cannot be left in place. PCBs are not like lead paint and asbestos; they are not chemically the same nor are they handled by EPA the same way.

The parents and teachers believe that further testing will demonstrate that PCB contamination is wide-spread and that the only solution both to protect kids and teachers and to comply with the law is a thorough investigation to identify and remove all PCBs found to be at illegal levels. In addition, they continue to criticize district testing practices such as leaving windows and doors open for a full day before doing air testing, as well as pre-cleaning surfaces before wipe tests as a way to manipulate results.

The SMMUSD is misleading the public with false statements to try and justify their choice to keep exposing Malibu children to cancerous, toxic PCBs.

DISTRICT ERROR CAUSES TEACHER WITH THYROID CANCER TO REMAIN IN TOXIC CLASSROOM

Defendant’s Calamity of Errors Validates Plaintiff’s PCB Lawsuit

For details, go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-districts-error-causes-teacher-with-thyroid-cancer-to-remain-in-toxic-classroom/

See map:

incorrect-PE-rooms-remediated

PCBs Affect a Whole Building, Not Just a Single Window

If PCB-laden caulking over 50ppm has been found in one classroom, then it is probable that PCB-laden caulk is in all classrooms in that building. It would be absurd to propose removal of only the tested window (which is what the district has proposed) when adjacent windows used the same caulking that contain high levels of PCBs.

12029766_766201816822513_7554779534588348547_o

America Unites Accuses the SMMUSD of Secret Cleaning

Click Here to Read 

http://malibuunites.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Secret-Cleaning-Before-Dec-PCB-tests.pdf

On Tuesday, December 16th, 2014, the SMMUSD ordered a “special” cleaning of the classrooms prior to Environ testing the dust and air. They asked teachers to remove all items from all surfaces so they can send a “special” crew to remove dust from surfaces; the same surfaces that Environ will be wipe testing hours later.

This renders PCB results meaningless. The goal of wipe and air testing is to see what the students and staff have been exposed to for the past 4 months. However, if they clean it hours before testing then any evidence of PCB exposure is removed.  Click Here to see email

Special-Cleaning-12-16-2014

This was done to guarantee the results are below EPA guidelines. Sadly, these test results will be nothing more than a PR move by the district to reassure parents and waste taxpayer dollars.

This Malibu High School and Malibu Middle School along with Jaun Cabrillo’s campus map highlighting testing results of toxins and presence of illness (thyroid cancer, thyroid disease and nodules) paints a pretty convincing picture of the harm already caused. (The three teachers with thyroid cancer all taught in classrooms with toxic illegal levels of PCB in caulk or with wipe samples considered “PCB Contaminated” under the PCB Regulations. As of today, at least three student alumni have also been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. There are also at least 14 known cases of thyroid disease among teachers, and three cases of melanoma or pre-melanoma (a cancer which is also associated with exposure to PCBs) among teachers and former teachers, as well as other serious health problems.)

CURRENT HEALTH ISSUES WITH STUDENTS AND TEACHERS AT MALIBU SCHOOLS
 
  • 6 teachers with thyroid cancer;
  • 4 alumni  (28-year-old)with thyroid cancer;
  • 1 current student with thyroid disease, possible thyroid cancer
  • 25 teachers with thyroid disease (including 14 of 30 Malibu Middle School teachers);
  • 10 alumni in their 20s with thyroid disease;
  • 1 alumni (22-year-old) with environmentally induced melanoma;
  • 2 current teachers with environmentally induced melanoma;
  • 1 teacher hospitalized from an environmentally-induced rash;
  • 1 current student with an environmentally-induced rash lasting several months
  • innumerable cases of headaches; persistent rashes; daily migraines; infertility issues; hair loss; immune issues; respiratory issues; and diabetes.
See America Unites for Kids October 29, 2015 letter to Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District’s Superintendent Sandra Lyon concerning new PCB test results showing widespread PCB contamination at Malibu High School:

See Congressman Ted Lieu’s letter to Jennifer DeNicola regarding Malibu High School’s latest PCB Test Results being sent to EPA’s Administrator Gina McCarthy:

10_29_15_Letter_from_Congressman_Lieu_to_America_Unites

See New PCB Test Results from Malibu High School:

See news articles concerning the SMMUSD Pressing Vandalism and Trespassing Charges Against the Parent who Proved that the Malibu Schools are Contaminated with Toxic Cancer Causing PCBs:

http://westsidetoday.com/2015/11/05/santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-district-want-sheriffs-to-investigate-parent-activists/#comment-123815

http://www.wnd.com/2015/11/mom-who-tested-classroom-for-carcinogens-to-be-charged/

http://fusion.net/story/227803/malibu-schools-pcb-thyroid-cancer/

http://laist.com/2015/11/05/malibu_pcb_case.php

In a bizarre twist, public school officials have filed a police report against a Malibu parent who allegedly took samples of window caulking from school buildings to test for toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), according to documents released by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) is also actively looking for teachers and other community members who may be involved, even as two elected board members have condemned the effort. (see attached emails from Board members Craig Foster and Oscar de la Torre)

See School Board Member emails here:

11_4_15_SMMUSD_board_members_protest

For two years Malibu Middle and High School and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School have been in an uproar as more than 30 Malibu teachers and alumni have come forward with serious health issues known to be related to PCB exposure.

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District appears to be more interested in attempting to silence their critics and limit their exposure to liability from a toxic tort complaint, rather than to just simply comply with the TSCA, and protect its students and teachers from this continuing harm.

if the classroom has no color coding, then the caulking has not been tested.

41ca7296-de71-4534-b6be-2be448d34592

See the many test results which reveal shockingly high PCB exposure at Malibu High School and Jaun Cabrillo Elementary School:

7_17_14 Malibu_PCB_lab_results1-1

9_23_14_Latest_Malibu_test_results

10_17_14_PCB 126 lab report J Cabrillo

10_17_14_PCB 126 lab report MHS

See Environs most recent test results which reveal shockingly high PCB exposure:

3_25_15_New_malibu_test_results

Malibu parents and teachers are not requesting “preferential treatment.” Plaintiffs’ are simply asking the district to comply with Federal law, and for students and teachers in EPA Region 9 to receive the same level of precaution and health protection currently enjoyed by students and teachers in other EPA regions.

The EPA must enforce TSCA at all schools. The location of the school, the income of the parents, and the color of students’ skin should not matter. Malibu can and should be the model for removal of PCBs from all schools.

Every child in every school deserves a PCB-free campus.

“There is no safe level of PCBs. All they do is cause harm. They increase the risk of a great number of diseases, and the one that’s of most significance in a school is that they’re known to reduce cognitive function — learning and memory. And that’s the last thing you want in a school.”

David O. Carpenter, M.D., director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany.

Mandatory Testing for PCBs in Schools:

http://www.pcbinschools.org/#!pcb-legal-actions/cp6k

“For all of the foregoing reasons, the Court denies Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss. Defendants shall Answer the FAC no later than June 29, 2015.”

IT IS SO ORDERED.

PERCY ANDERSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

See attached Order of the United States District Court dated June 15, 2015: document-75

See Plaintiffs’ Motion to Compel due to Refusal to Allow Entry onto Land to Conduct PCB testing: document-71

See the attached Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s ANSWER to the TSCA Complaint: document-79

See JD Supra Articles dated May 21, 2015 and June 24, 2015:

http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-smmusd-has-spent-six-million-dollars-79259/

http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/there-is-a-statistically-significant-re-43492/

See Malibu Times article concerning a Malibu Parent’s “Call for Action”

http://www.malibutimes.com/opinion/article_b72d0206-e939-11e4-9843-db91a10fb632.html

“It would seem to me that the only way to get this corrupt district to act properly, in addition to the lawsuit, is to boycott the school. If the parents at the schools would keep their children home and put a picket line in front of the schools, the media would attend and the attention would show the world what is going on.”

“The parents must show that they will not put up with the district ignoring the danger that its policy is putting children in.”

THERE IS A STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT “RELATIONSHIP” BETWEEN SPENDING YOUR DAYS AT MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL AND THYROID CANCER

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/there-is-a-statistically-significant-relationship-between-spending-your-days-at-mhs-and-thyroid-cancer/

See the Town of Princeton’s July 1, 2015, the Town of Westport’s May 7, 2014, and the Town of Lexington’s September 4, 2012 lawsuits against Monsanto:

Re: Exposure to Toxic Chemical Compounds known as Polychlorinated Biphenyls (“PCBs”) in schools:

See also the City of Spokane’s July 31, 2015 lawsuit against Monsanto for decades of PCB poisoning:
1. TOWN OF PRINCETON vs. PHARMACIA LLC, SOLUTIA INC., and MONSANTO COMPANY
The lawsuit alleges that Monsanto knew of the toxicity of PCBs as early as the 1930s, but continued to manufacture, sell and promote the products. Even after the toxicity hazard of PCBs was established by experts, Monsanto continued to promote the product.

2. TOWN OF WESTPORT and WESTPORT COMMUNITY SCHOOLS, VS. MONSANTO COMPANY, & SOLUTIA INC., et al

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/docs-20009344-v1-complaint_-_original_file_stamped.pdf

http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/complaint-against-monsanto-re-exposure-78358

Monsanto’s Answer to the Town of Westport’s Complaint. Re: Exposure to Toxic Chemical Compounds known as Polychlorinated Biphenyls (“PCBs”) see link: document-83

http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/monsantos-answer-to-the-town-of-wesport-84120/

3. TOWN OF LEXINGTON vs. PHARMACIA LLC, SOLUTIA INC., and MONSANTO COMPANY

See Town of Lexinton’s Complaint against Monsanto. Re: Exposure to Toxic Chemical Compounds known as Polychlorinated Biphenyls (“PCBs”) see link: document-84

http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-town-of-lexingtons-complaint-agains-87554/

4. CITY OF SPOKANE vs. MONSANTO COMPANY, SOLUTIA INC., and PHARMACIA CORPORATION

See City of Spokane’s Complaint against Monsanto for Decades of PCB Poisoning: document-90

http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-city-of-spokane-has-sued-monsanto-fo-39589/

These lawsuits allege that Monsanto knew then that PCBs were toxic and could not be contained as they readily escaped into the environment finding their way into bays, oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, soil, and air. Although Monsanto recognized internally that PCBs were becoming “a global contaminant,” Monsanto concealed this information and increased production of these profitable compounds.

There are many other troubling issues with the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District.

  1. Student v Wendy Wax Gellis & SMMUSD:

This lawsuit alleges that the SMMUSD and Wendy Wax Gellis are criminally liable for violations of California Penal Code § 11166 and 11172(a) et seq. for filing a knowingly false child abuse report with child services and the police.

Santa Monica Dispatch Article Concerning Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Retaliatory Acts Against Students and Parents by Filing False Claims of Child Abuse with the Department of Children & Family Services.

See link to News Article here: http://www.santamonicadispatch.com/2009/01/smmusd-vs-student/

The lawsuit alleges that an example of retaliatory action by the SMMUSD and Wendy Wax Gellis taken against this family includes knowingly and maliciously filing a false child rape and domestic violence allegation with the local law enforcement and with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in retaliation for parent’s exercise of their federally protected right to bring claims against the SMMUSD before the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

The family alleges that on December 18, 2013, SMMUSD employee named Wendy Wax Gellis made a knowingly false referral to the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), and to local law enforcement that parent raped her own son. The allegations were determined by all investigating agencies to be unfounded.

For details of this pending Federal lawsuit go to:

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/santa-monica-dispatch-article-concerning-smmusds-retaliatory-acts-against-students-and-parents-by-filing-false-claims-of-child-abuse-with-the-department-of-children-family-services/

2. STUDENT vs. MARK KELLY & THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Re: Disability Discrimination

Plaintiffs allege that Mark Kelly’s conduct in baiting student was so outrageous in character and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency,” Mintz, 905 P.2d at 563. Mark Kelly’s knowledge that the plaintiff is peculiarly susceptible to emotional distress by reason of some physical or mental condition rises to both extreme and outrageous conduct.”  (“eggshell plaintiff” principle)

3. Severe Bullying at Malibu High School and Superintendent Sandra Lyon’s Ratification of the Conduct:

Student vs. Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District;

Sebastian Dane Sartorius: Jordan Clarke et al.

http://www.santamonicadispatch.com/2014/02/victim-becomes-villain-in-malibu-controversy/

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT COMPLAINT

SPECIAL INTERROGATORY NO. 13:

LIST THE FULL NAME AND JOB TITLE OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS AT SMMUSD (AND/OR MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL) RESPONSIBLE AMENDING/REVERSING CANCELING AND OR OTHERWISE MODIFYING THE DISCIPLINARY SUSPENSION OF DEFENDANT SEBASTIAN SARTORIUS ISSUED IN OR AROUND NOVEMBER 2012.

RESPONSE TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORY NO. 13:

SANDRA LYON, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT.

It’s time to fire Superintendent Sandra Lyon

https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/it-is-time-to-fire-the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-districts-superintendent-sandra-lyon/

See pdf copy:

IT’S TIME TO FIRE SMMUSD’S SUPERINTENDENT SANDRA LYON

See link to Change.org Petition:

https://www.change.org/p/the-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-district-s-board-of-education-it-s-time-to-fire-santa-monica-malibu-unified-school-district-s-superintendent-sandra-lyon

Email the Santa Monica Unified School District’s Board of Education:

brd@smmusd.org

Oscar de la Torre
odelatorre@smmusd.org
Dr. Jose Escarce
jescarce@smmusd.org
Craig Foster
cfoster@smmusd.org
Maria Leon-Vazquez
mlvazquez@smmusd.org
Laurie Lieberman
President
llieberman@smmusd.org
Ralph Mechur
Vice President
rmechur@smmusd.org
Dr. Richard
Tahvildaran-Jesswein
rtahvildaranjesswein@smmusd.org
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