Please sign the new Safe Schools Petition, now!

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For those who haven’t been paying attention:  Irvine’s Portola High School (PHS) — that opened in August, 2016 for its first class of 400 9th graders — is on a 40-acre site located on the former Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, that suffers from toxic contamination.

The Irvine School Board, most likely under pressure from FivePoint Communities (the developer that acquired the airbase property), has, for years, furiously resisted testing the entire interior of the school site for toxic petrochemicals (including volatile organic compounds [VOCs] such as benzene and toluene).  This unfathomable resistance has persisted in spite of accidentally finding these cancer-causing and neurotoxic compounds in massive caches near and also on the school site during construction excavations.

Finally, the State mandated soil-gas testing of the interior of the Portola High School site.  Tests,  completed in April, 2016, turned up these toxic VOCs at so-called “low levels” in all 17 of 17 sampling locations. The State approved these levels as “safe” even though it is unknown if there are higher levels on the site.  Regardless of State approval, it is widely accepted that there are no safe levels for these compounds.  Especially on a school site, where children (and pregnant women) are most susceptible to their life-altering effects, there should be zero tolerance for these VOCs.

The State of California requires carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in every dwelling unit to protect the occupants.  Similarly, the only 100 percent sure way to protect the students, teachers and staff inside the school buildings against a dangerous condition that can develop at any time is to install continuous air monitoring equipment.

All of the testing for these VOCs conducted in the interior of the Portola High School site has resulted from public pressure.  Consequently, we have initiated a new Petition Drive, called Safe Schools 2, to ask both the Irvine City Council and the Irvine School Board to conduct comprehensive, independent testing of the school site, and more importantly, to install continuous air monitor-ing equipment inside the school buildings.  There is no rational reason to not install this equipment that would protect the occupants.  The costs are miniscule compared to what has already been spent building the school.

If you haven’t already done so, please sign the Safe Schools Petition at:


Safe-Schools-2 Petition

We, the undersigned, call upon the Irvine School Board and the Irvine City Council to conduct comprehensive, independent and conscientious testing of the Portola High School site — both site-wide soil-gas testing and continuous air monitoring inside the buildings — for toxic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs, such as benzene, benzene derivatives, and toluene) that have already been found in previous, limited tests on the 40-acre site.

 This renewed and expanded testing, along with aggressive remediation efforts, can help ensure that the Portola High School site is — and always will be — a safe site for teachers, staff, students, and the entire Irvine community.

[PARTIAL LIST OF SIGNATORIES] A Lee ▪ Aadra Lee ▪ Ahmed Zahran ▪ Albert Lee ▪ Alex Wang ▪ Alfred Newman ▪ Alfredo Perez ▪ Alisa Kim ▪ Alysha Gosse ▪ An Tran ▪ Andy Ho ▪ Angel Lee ▪ Angie Chang ▪ Anh Tran ▪ Ann Chen ▪ Annette Bork ▪ Annette Buckel ▪ Annie Liu ▪ Aris Papayoanou ▪ Arthur Strauss, MD ▪ Avram Grossman ▪ Barbara Siersma ▪ Beatrice Lieberman ▪ Bernadette Florencio ▪ Bindu Variam ▪ Bo Zhang ▪ Bo Zhao ▪ Brian Toorani ▪ C Lin ▪ Camille Dexter ▪ Carol Lechich-LeMar ▪ Catherine Hwang ▪ Charles Kang ▪ Chen He ▪ Chris Campbell ▪ Christina Johnston ▪ Cindy Davis ▪ Cindy Zwarka ▪ Cynthia Bankston ▪ D Evans ▪ Danny Scruggs ▪ Darren Ito ▪ David Eich ▪ Debbie Herring ▪ Debra Richardson ▪ Delia G. Terry ▪ Diana Casillas ▪ Donald Schrader ▪ Donna Zazueta ▪ Ed Lamphier ▪ Edith Castaneda Pelletan ▪ Eli Weinkle ▪ Enrique Viloria ▪ Erik Apinyan ▪ Erika Yoshizawa ▪ Ernestina Benson ▪ Fairy Jolini ▪ Fay Zheng ▪ Fritzee Labrador ▪ Gail Lewis ▪ Galina Bukh ▪ Gaurang Yodh ▪ Gerald Lee ▪ Glenda Menges ▪ Grace Lee ▪ Griffin Tamura ▪ Hadeel Ragab ▪ Harvey Liss ▪ Heather Hilario ▪ Helena Blum ▪ Henry Chiang ▪ Henry Kass ▪ Ina Tzvetanova ▪ Ingrid Farrington ▪ Ira Lewis ▪ Isaias Lopez ▪ Jack Tatham ▪ Jacques Garnier ▪ Jacquie Madenburg ▪ James Lin ▪ Jamie Wilkinson ▪ Jane An ▪ Janice Camilo ▪ Jason Liu ▪ Jean Anne Turner ▪ Jean Miller ▪ Jeffrey Ho ▪ Jennifer Assouad ▪ Jennifer Ho ▪ Jessica Sanchez ▪ Jessica Un ▪ Jill Berger ▪ Jing Chen ▪ Joe Sambito ▪ Jon Brownell ▪ Jonathan Li ▪ Jorge Meza ▪ Julia Chan ▪ Julie Hosokawa ▪ Karen Zfaty ▪ Kari Black ▪ Karrie Scruggs ▪ Kathy Chang ▪ Katya Chan ▪ Kelli Hsu ▪ Kelly Harrigan ▪ Kelvin Xu ▪ Ken McEwan ▪ Kenny Geh ▪ Kevin Lien ▪ Kozue Larson ▪ Krista Barajas ▪ Kristine Su ▪ Kyung Park ▪ Larry Agran ▪ Laura Smith-Black ▪ Laura Thieme ▪ Laurie Crowe ▪ Lawrence O Seidman ▪ Linda Rife ▪ Liqiong Song ▪ Liza Tilson ▪ Lori Johnson ▪ Lori Werstein ▪ Lorne Cheeseman ▪ Luana Foucart ▪ Lydia Liu ▪ Lynn Boutin ▪ Manal Galal ▪ Marcia Spater ▪ Marjorie McIntyre ▪ Mark McIntyre ▪ Martha C. Clay ▪ Martha Monteleone ▪ Melissa Roeder ▪ Mertis Shearry ▪ Michele Garcia-Jurado ▪ Michelle Bice ▪ Michelle Ng ▪ Minhchau Pham ▪ Miriam Khurgel ▪ Mojgan Moghadam ▪ Monica Lee ▪ Monica Trivedi ▪ Naomi Iseri ▪ Nasir Khoso ▪ P. Pawley ▪ Paige Wiseman ▪ Pat Kennedy ▪ Patrick Miko ▪ Payam Larijani ▪ Phyllis Gilmore ▪ Prathima Venkatesan ▪ Rakesh Bhatia ▪ Richard Ramirez ▪ Robin Greenberg ▪ Robin Weirich ▪ Rosemary St. John ▪ Ross Rosenberg ▪ Russell Corrie ▪ Ruth Kim ▪ Sam Chung ▪ Sam Pawley ▪ Samantha Meza ▪ Sandhya Nair ▪ Sasha Wu ▪ Scarlett Teats ▪ Selene Huang ▪ Shadi Kia ▪ Shanene Vaca ▪ Shelley Harriger ▪ Sherry Mao ▪ Sophia Niu ▪ Steven Harlow ▪ Steven Newman ▪ Sudha Ati ▪ Sumera Iqbal ▪ Susan Bernatowicz ▪ Susan Morrissey ▪ Susan O’Brien ▪ Susan Sayre ▪ Susie Rausavljevich ▪ T.  K. McCranie ▪ Thank Nguyen ▪ Thao Pham ▪ Tiffany Nguyen ▪ Tom L Casey ▪ Toni Dwyer ▪ Tracie Jimenez ▪ Veronica Tamura ▪ Waki Taki ▪ Yali Li ▪ Yoon Kim ▪ Yun-I Liu

Harvey H. Liss

Harvey H. Liss

Harvey H. Liss, a former Irvine Planning Commissioner, holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics and is a California Licensed Civil Engineer. Dr. Liss is a longtime resident of Woodbridge, the iconic Irvine village he helped design in the 1970s. He now reports for ICNV on environmental issues.
Harvey H. Liss

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