Posts Tagged ‘fema’

Some amazing activists with the group Parents For Life 2012 have exposed some glaring lies by the Richmond Public Schools about A.V. Norrell. Thanks to Parents For Life 2012 for shedding light on the issues, and keeping the pressure on!

From Parents For Life 2012:

Richmond Public School recently put out an FAQ section on their website, in relation to the relocation of the Head Start program to A.V Norrell Elementary. In this FAQ, they lie about the contents of a 2007 FEMA report (available by email, mcnealkc [at] vcu.edu if you want us to email you the file), and about the capacity of John B. Cary Elementary. The complete refutation is attached as a .doc file.

In brief, RPS claimed that the 2007 report declared Norrell safe and the landfill no longer a problem, while in reality, FEMA detected levels of methane gas “approaching the upper explosive limit”, and unequivocally stated that the landfill is still a safety risk at the time of writing. Richmond Public Schools also alleges that no other school could accommodate 250 students, while a news report from May of this year represents John B. Cary elementary (which the FAQ mentions by name) as operating 700 students under capacity.

These discrepancies, calculated as they appear, can’t be accidental. RPS is lying about A.V Norrell Elementary.
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Megan Walker, myself (Kat McNeal) and Jonathan Cunningham compiled the following information on Norrell Elementary. I’ve included a brief summary of results, as well as links to where we found each piece of information. All of the information was publicly available when we found it (9/4/2012). This is by no means a complete picture of the situation with Norrell Elementary, as it neglects statements made by school board members, direct testimony from area parents, a complete history of the site, and many other facets. For more complete information, speak to Art Burton and Lillie Estes.Our findings establish that there were explosive levels of methane still being exuded from the dump site as late as 2006 (FEMA’s 2007 Report), that the Environmental Protection Agency lists A.V. Norrell Elementary School as an ‘active’ candidate for the National Priorities List of contaminated sites (Superfund Site Information Database), and that the conditions at Norrell stand to violate the Head Start Program’s Environmental Requirements. Additionally, despite some claims from School Board members, Parks and Recreation has never listed the school as the site of a community center or community program.The most recent environmental survey of the site available to the public was the FEMA report in 2007, reflecting conditions in 2006. There exist no more recent investigations available to the public online.

These sources, and the absence of more recent data, suggest that the dangers of Norrell have not been addressed in any way since its closing in 2006. Beyond the obvious physical dangers of the site, which were very much present in 2006 with no evidence that they have been resolved since, Richmond Public Schools could stand to lose Head Start funding should conditions violating the requirements be rediscovered

The following report includes a description of, and select quotes from, the source materials.

FEMA’s 2007 Report

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