DTSC CONFIRMS PORTOLA HIGH SCHOOL SAFE TO OPEN
In a major victory for the Irvine School District, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control today confirmed that Portola High School is indeed safe for teachers, students, parents and anyone else who will frequent the soon-to-be completed high school. The $300 million campus, Irvine's fifth high school, is slated to open in August.
A group of Irvine residents challenged the Irvine Unified School District on the safety of the soil on the site, saying that the district and state officials had failed to adequately test for toxic substances. A new round of testing - the third over the last two years - resulted in the DTSC reporting that the likely source of low levels of VOCs detected in soil gas at the school is “recycled irrigation water and that further assessment is not needed.”
Most importantly, the report said the "VOCs at these concentrations do not pose a threat to the health of individuals who attend classes, who work at the school, or might otherwise use the school’s property.” In fact, the DTSC said the VOCs “are well below human health risk.”
Irvine Unified School District Supt. Terry Walker, upon receiving the final report, said in a statement, “I am pleased to inform you that the Portola High School site has been affirmed safe by the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC).