IUSD Board Meeting Tuesday – Demand Updates on Portola High Testing



This letter is from Dr. Harvey Liss; concerned IUSD parents ought to show up at Tuesday’s IUSD Board Meeting to ask for raw data from the new testing.


Dear Residents interested in a safe Portola High School:

I have some important matters to report to you.

Sampling on the Portola High School site for toxic petrochemicals {VOCs-volatile organic compounds) has surely been completed by now, since it began on March 28th, and was supposed to take three weeks to complete the first phase.  IUSD refused my request to release any lab reports until the final report, including a health-risk assessment, is released sometime in the latter half of May.

Worse, however, as revealed in the final Work Plan for testing that I recently obtained from a CA Public Records Act request, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) also required IUSD to perform a second set of tests for VOCs 3 weeks after the first set, to see if there is any change over time.   IUSD’s environmental consultant, PlaceWorks—the firm that was dangerously erroneous in their assessment of the site in the first place—claimed that performing that next set of tests “would impede the opening of the school.”

The consultant then suggested ways to evade this latest DTSC directive, which would, of course, jeopardize the validity of the testing.  Is opening the school in accordance with a rushed schedule more important than making sure that Portola High School is safe, whenever it’s opened?

It is unknown what IUSD plans to do; however, we can, again, motivate them to do the right thing by your attendance at the next IUSD Board meeting, ON TUESDAY, MAY 3RD at 6:30pm at Administration Center, Irvine Unified School District:  5050 Barranca Parkway, Irvine CA 92604  (Parking in front and in back).

For those who wish to make a Public Comment, there is an opportunity near the beginning of the meeting as “Item 10, Oral Communication.”  This immediately follows brief special presentations and recognitions.

If you do plan to attend, please let me know, atinfo@TestForToxics.org  

More documents are available on TestForToxics.org.  Go to “About the Campaign” and scroll down to the RESOURCE LIBRARY.

I welcome your comments and questions, and hope to see you on May 3rd.

At the bottom is my email that I sent to the IUSD Board and Superintendent on April 25th that’s also my most recent blog.


Harvey Liss