MALIBU (CBSLA.com) — There was more drama Friday over the celebrity-fueled fight over cancer-causing chemicals at Malibu schools.
Parents including supermodel Cindy Crawford sued the district to get the schools cleaned up.
The battle involves an ongoing dispute at the Malibu High campus over the cleanup of a toxic chemical known as PCBs found in caulking. High concentrations can cause cancer and other illnesses.
The ruling bars the district from using any room after Dec. 31, 2019, unless all window and door systems and surrounding caulk have been replaced. It also bars the group that filed the suit from doing anymore testing.
Jennifer deNicola with the group America Unites With Kids says the lawsuit was necessary or the district could have resolved the issue on its own time frame. “Now they don’t have a choice,” deNicola said.
The district denies that, saying along with the EPA they came up with the plan to remove the chemicals as part of a modernization project, and the judge has agreed.
The district also feels the 2019 deadline proves that the PCB levels are not a threat.
“This lawsuit was unnecessary and forced the district to waste money defending a plan the judge has now endorsed,” said Laurie Lieberman, Santa Monica Malibu School District board president.
Although the two sides can’t agree on who won, they do agree students and staff will be better off without the chemicals on their campus.