Feature

Irony alert: Al Gore's school built on toxic ground

Critics say that a school named for the environmental crusader may endanger students

The Irony: The Los Angeles Times reported last weekend that the Carson-Gore Academy of Environmental Sciences, a new school named after the ex-vice president and Silent Spring author Rachel Carson, was built on contaminated soil. Workers completed a $4 million cleanup project to replace the ground beneath the school, which had been the site of "more than a dozen underground storage tanks serving light industrial businesses." Officials say they've done rigorous tests and detect no dangers, but environmental groups like California Communities Against Toxics worry that "the dirty groundwater could recontaminate the soil," posing long-term health risks to students. The $75.5 million school is set to open on September 13.The Reaction: Predictably, conservative bloggers have had a field day with the story. Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters says, "It's quite fitting a school be named after these two radical environmentalists that could end up harming the very students that attend it." Now that the school has been given the all-clear, says Max Read of Gawker, it sounds like the main risk for students is that "they'll grow up with a highly developed sense of irony!"

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