An environmental engineering firm has begun work on a three-month remedial investigation to assess the tar-like seepage that forced the closure of Park Avenue Elementary School in Cudahy.
Los Angeles Unified School District officials closed the school July 26 as a precautionary measure while a detailed investigation of the site is conducted. The 650 students of the year-round school are temporarily attending classes at Elizabeth and Teresa Hughes elementary schools in Cudahy.
McLaren Environmental Engineering of Burbank has traced the material to petroleum waste and other refuse from a former dump site that was there before the school was built.
The company will conduct test borings to determine the nature and extent of the waste. A weather station has also been set up to monitor meteorological conditions, which will aid in the investigation of soil vapor emissions and determine the potential health risks, Angelo Bellomo said. Bellomo is director of operations for McLaren.
Bellomo said the test results will allow "us to determine if there is an interim measure that we can take to reopen the school" while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency makes a final determination on what will be done with the site.