Mcclymonds High School Oakland Closed Temporarily For Testing For Toxic Substance

McClymonds High School Closure TCE Update And FAQ By Oakland Councilmember McElhaney

Oakland – On Thursday, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) announced a precautionary closure of McClymonds High School after tests revealed that a cancer-causing chemical called trichloroethylene (TCE) was found in the onsite groundwater. The announcement sent shockwaves through the school community and the neighborhood. As a priority I have worked diligently to help OUSD identify interim classroom solutions to resume instruction. The District is evaluating its options and will make an announcement on Monday.

Oakland District Three Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney
Oakland District Three Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney

In addition to my efforts to help the McClymonds community, I have been working diligently to get answers to address the concerns for those of us living in West Oakland. The TCE found at McClymonds serves to remind us that West Oakland residents have endured many decades of environmental injustice and the fight for remedy persists. We demand and deserve answers. To this end, I am working with Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson and the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project to host a town hall to bring regulators to the community to address our concerns.

Special Environmental Town Hall

Wednesday, February 26, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

West Oakland Senior Center

1724 Adeline Street


Representatives from Alameda County Environmental Health Department (ACEHD), California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be in attendance to answer community concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I live near McClymonds. Is my drinking water safe? Can I take a shower?

Groundwater contamination does not impact water provided by EBMUD. Presence of TCE in the groundwater will not impact your drinking water or showers.

Is it safe for my child to play in my yard?

There is no immediate concern about safety on the grounds. Further tests at McClymonds will reveal determine if the source and spread of the TCE contamination found at the school and whether TCE is in the indoor air. More information will be provided by County health professionals

Is there a link between TCE and the cancers that have killed two Mack students?

There is no reported link. We will need to raise this question with County health professionals.

What is happening with the McClymonds Students? How long will they be out of school?

OUSD is currently evaluating sites to resume instruction until tests results prove that there is no contamination in the indoor air quality samples. The District expects instruction to resume on Tuesday, Feb 25 and will announce location information on Monday, February 24.

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