Evaluating & Cleaning-Up School Sites

Overview

DTSC's School Property Evaluation and Cleanup Division is responsible for assessing, investigating and cleaning up proposed school sites.  The Division ensures that selected properties are free of contamination or, if the properties were previously contaminated, that they have been cleaned up to a level that protects the students and staff who will occupy the new school.  All proposed school sites that will receive State funding for acquisition or construction are required to go through a rigorous environmental review and cleanup process under DTSC's oversight.

School districts conduct environmental assessments to provide basic information for determining if there has been a release of hazardous material at the sites, or if a naturally occurring hazardous material that presents a risk to human health or the environment may be present.  Outreach activities integrated into the process allow a more active role for stakeholders in the selection process for school sites.  Through the environmental review process, DTSC ensures protection of children, staff and the environment from the potential effects of exposure to hazardous materials.  As the only comprehensive school environmental evaluation program in the United States, the DTSC School Property Evaluation and Cleanup Division continues to set the national standard.

 

Mission

“To assist school districts in the assessment of school properties by ensuring that environmental conditions are expeditiously investigated, evaluated, and if necessary, remediated in order to protect public health and the environment.”

 

Values

The things that matter most in our organization are:

  • Ensuring sites are safe for schools
  • Providing high quality services
  • Information and responding to stakeholders
  • Making decisions that reflect competence, practicality and consistency
  • Striving for cost- and time-efficient operations
  • Developing innovative approaches and guidance to address environmental issues

 

Principles

We recognize that all our actions must be guided by a set of principles:

  • Protection:  Our responsibility is to promote and protect public health and the environment.
  • Service:  We serve the public as a whole, our customers who seek a product or service from us, and future generations whose interests are affected by today's actions.
  • Teamwork:  Our decisions are jointly made by trained multidisciplinary staff so as to ensure balance, competence and professionalism.
  • Integrity:  We must continually earn the trust of those we serve, making an active commitment to truth, accuracy and fairness.
  • Excellence:  We are committed to career development and professional growth for our valued staff; we strive to provide high-quality services, and to achieve a standard of excellence in job performance.
  • Ownership:  We accept responsibility for ensuring an effective investigation and cleanup, and are accountable for project outcomes.

 

School Projects or Environmental Review Process

DTSC is available to address any questions or problems that may arise during the environmental review process.  Please contact the DTSC project manager with your concerns.  If you do not know the assigned project manager or the project manager is unable to satisfactorily answer your questions, please contact:

Shahir Haddad
Schools Evaluation and Brownfields Outreach Branch
Brownfields and Environmental Restoration Program
Department of Toxic Substances Control
5796 Corporate Avenue
Cypress, California 90630
(714) 484-5368
Shahir.Haddad@dtsc.ca.gov