DALLAS - Dallas ISD unveiled a new policy Thursday after a FOX 4 Investigation uncovered an elementary school was built on land contaminated by toxic chemicals without the public ever knowing.
FOX 4 Investigation: Dallas ISD's newest school built on contaminated land
The new policy will require school district staff to notify the school board before they vote to buy contaminated land.
To protect students, Dallas ISD hauled 350 cubic yards of dirt and installed a plastic barrier to keep harmful chemicals from getting into the air inside Jose "Joe" May Elementary. The school was built on land tainted by chemicals from a gas station and a dry cleaner that operated on the site from the 1960s until 2012.
Under the direction of state environmental regulators, the school district also had to rest the air inside the school. The indoor air quality met state standards only four days before the school opened in August. All the while, parents, the school's own trustee and the superintendent never knew.
School board trustees Edwin Flores and Miguel Solis now want to make sure they never vote to buy contaminated land without knowing about it first.
“This is a common sense approach as a parent who sends his little children to our schools,” Flores said.
Flores' policy would notify the public after the land is bought. Solis amended the policy to make sure.
Joe May Elementary School must continue to be monitored by the state for years to come.
The district administrators who knew about the contaminated land and failed to tell the board are no longer with the district. The board will vote on the new policy at the end of January.
This investigation started as tip from the public. If you would like submit a tip or story idea, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.