In 2009, Malibu High School underwent a Polychlorinated biphenyls clean up, and in 2011, a construction project on the Malibu Middle and High Schools and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School, found soils contaminated with PCBs and organochlorine pesticides presenting “an unacceptable health risk”. In 2014 continued contamination was confirmed and linked to caulk. In March 2015, parents and teachers filed a lawsuit to remove all contaminated caulk.
in 2009 and 2010, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District did a polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) cleanup of Malibu High School overseen by the California Department of Toxic Substance Control. During a 2011 construction project on the Malibu Middle and High Schools and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School, contractors discovered soils were contaminated with PCBs and organochlorine pesticides like chlordane and DDT and presented “an unacceptable health risk”. A senior U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employee recommended that teachers consult Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) for help. In February 2014, PEER attorneys asked the unified school district to assess the Malibu High School campus. In July 2014, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wrote that Malibu High school had never been a military site, despite published reports and interviews with long-time residents present during those years that Malibu did serve as a WWII military training center. The school district hired an environmental firm named Environ, whose initial clean up plan was criticized for allowing elevated PCB levels to remain inside classrooms for 15 years or more, for not testing caulk in all rooms built prior to 1979 and for air quality monitoring of only one year. In April 2014, the EPA rejected the clean up plan. In July 2014 Environ released a second PCB clean up plan. Two weeks later PEER published PCB test results of June 2014 caulking and dirt samples from school rooms, not previously tested by the District, "at thousands of times the levels previously released to the public". In March 2015, parents and teachers filed a lawsuit to have all all contaminated caulk removed. PEER estimated that "probably 80 rooms in the district have contaminated caulk, beyond what was first tested".