Edison High School is a neighbor of the Ascon landfill located at Magnolia and Hamilton, on the southwest side. Because the school is a neighbor, not an owner or an oversight agency, the District has no authority other than advisement, but shares the concerns of Edison parents and staff as well as community residents regarding potential health threats from the proposed "cleanup" of the waste pits. The health and safety of students and staff are our primary concern, therefore the District has tested the air quality at the school using an independent firm and has received findings that the environmental risk data collected during field investigations are well within safety standards as set by the California Air Resource Board and American Industrial Hygiene Association. In addition, drinking water and the swimming pool have been tested by independent firms with results that are also well within safety standards.
You may know that the operator of the cleanup, Project Navigator, has been ordered by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to suspend the clean-up until enhanced safeguards are implemented. As a result, cleanup stopped June 7. In a letter from the DTSC, these future safeguards "include measures to address odors emanating from the site onto Edison High School and the nearby community." Mitigation efforts to meet these new required mandates are underway now. The DTSC plans a public meeting before any further clean-up is resumed, and will continue to monitor the air around the school on an ongoing basis.
The District is presently meeting with all agencies involved, including South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), DTSC and the City of Huntington Beach, and will review and respond to all actions taken by the parties conducting the cleanup of the closed landfill site as a result of the mandates from regulatory oversight agencies. We will continue to ensure student and staff safety and respond immediately to any recommendations from these agencies.
July 11, 2019
Representatives from South Coast Air Quality Management District, California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), Ascon, the Huntington Beach Union High School District, Huntington Beach City Elementary District, the City of Huntington Beach, and the office of Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris met this week at City Hall.
The parties discussed DTSC's required health and safety enhancements at the Ascon landfill site to control odors, including tenting, as well as additional safety testing being planned.
A schedule for all future action on the site is expected in the next few weeks, which will be posted on the Ascon website. A 16 foot barrier fence along parts of Hamilton and Magnolia streets, across from Edison High School, will be constructed as part of this schedule. Currently, a landscape cleanup is in progress to prepare the site's perimeter for the barrier fence, which is not part of the mitigation work.
The agencies agreed to meet regularly to discuss upcoming plans, address concerns, and ensure effective communication strategies aimed to keep the neighboring community informed. We will keep parents and staff updated through this website, with links to the Ascon plans and schedules as they are approved.