McClymonds High townhall held to address concerns about chemical contamination

Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – McClymonds High School has been closed for almost a week as the campus is testing for toxins.

A town hall discussing the concerns about the chemical contamination wrapped up Wednesday evening.

“I’m concerned that it will spread into my area. I live in this area right around the corner from the center here,” Roosevelt King said. 

“I live on Magnolia Street and they have dug up my street since December at least three times, the water company, so something is going on and they’re not telling us about it,” Faye Taylor said. 

“The fact is that there’s lots of sites around McClymonds and West Oakland that have chemicals on the ground that haven’t been remediated,” Renata Foucre said.

Those who attended Wednesday night’s meeting had many questions for city and state officials about the chemical contamination at McClymonds High School.

Among them was former principal Karen Todd.

“It’s just neighborhood concern. There’s concern about our youth, you know to make sure they’re being taken care of and making sure our families know what’s happening and to just be very forthcoming with all the information so we can have a plan to get things right,” Todd said.

Environmental health officials with Alameda County and the state talked about what’s going on.

The campus was shut down last Thursday after the discovery of a cancer-causing chemical “TCE” in the groundwater at the school.

Students are continuing their classes at different campuses in the district as officials test for toxins.

State officials told the crowd TCE was found in groundwater, not in pipes or drinking water.

A map was given out to show the sites under oversight for leaking underground storage tank cases.

Cases that are open and closed but the school is a top priority.

Mayor Libby Schaaf wants to expedite the process with air quality filters.

“We are going to start that process right now, getting air quality filters into our schools first and then other vulnerable areas and we’re just going to keep going because we know we can immediately improve the health of this community,” Schaaf said.

Air testing resumed on Wednesday and school officials say results are expected to come sometime late next week.

Depending on the test results, officials say the week of March 9 would be the earliest to get back into the school.

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