Workers have unearthed a fourth pit containing toxic substances that were illegally buried at a Torrance Unified School District maintenance yard next to an elementary school in southeast Torrance, a county health official said this week.
Anastacio Medina, a hazardous materials supervisor for the county Department of Health Services, said soil in the pit is saturated with odoriferous liquid solvents, apparently poured into the ground by school district maintenance employees over a period of years. Tests will be made to determine the exact nature of the solvents.
The illegal dumping was brought to the attention of school trustees and health officials by district employees earlier this month.
After the dumping was reported, workers for a private firm, hired by the school district, dug up an assortment of drums and other containers in three other pits at the yard between the Torrance Elementary School and Charles Wilson Park.
Substances there included paint, solvents, formaldehyde and discarded biological specimens, apparently from high school labs, Medina said.
Medina said Tuesday that workers have completed their two-week search at the small yard and the next step for the district is to formulate a plan for removing the toxic materials, possibly during the Easter vacation in early April.