A new $75.5 million Los Angeles elementary school named for Al Gore and Rachel Carson was built on a toxic site, reports the LA Times.
“Renaming this terribly contaminated school after famous environmental advocates is an affront to the great work that these individuals have done to protect the public’s health from harm,” an environmental coalition wrote in a letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District.
As part of a $4 million clean-up, crews are replacing soil contaminated by underground storage tanks with clean fill. A barrier will go 45 feet down to limit possible fuel leakage from the underground tanks of an adjacent gas station. “Like many local campuses, this school also sits above an oil field, but no oil field-related methane has been detected,” reports the Times.
Critics “worry that the pollution sources have not been adequately identified and that the dirty groundwater could recontaminate the soil.”
The Carson-Gore Academy for Environmental Sciences aims to teach environmentalism in all subjects:
Cross-curriculum efforts will include environmental speeches and presentations in English, topsoil measurements in math and climate study in science.
The principal also envisions an organic garden that could produce a student-led farmer’s market.
Robina Suwol, who heads the California Safe Schools coalition, says the vegetables should be grown in above-ground planters.
Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is even more controversial than Gore. Her campaign against DDT is responsible for as many as 2.7 million deaths a year from malaria, writes Ronald Bailey in Reason.