Doelores Mejia attended a recent public meeting in Boyle Heights where state officials described neighborhood lead contamination. Mejia says regulators should have closed the plant long ago. (Chris Richard)
By Chris Richard
Operators of a battery recycling plant suspected of showering its neighbors just east of downtown Los Angeles with lead dust for decades have submitted new soil testing and remediation plans. According to the documents, the area that incrementally increases the area to be surveyed will be incrementally increased and homes inhabited by young children and pregnant women will be specially vacuumed or have lead dust sealed.
The Exide plant has been cited repeatedly for leaking lead and arsenic into nearby residential neighborhoods.
Exide Technologies also may remove an undisclosed amount of soil from two yards already identified as hazardous to children.
At the same time, the company has received regulatory approval for more than $5 million in improvements to pollution-control measures at its plant in Vernon. That’s on top of $15 million the company has committed to anti-pollution measures since 2010.
In separate press releases regarding the ground contamination and the air-quality protection measures, senior Exide director E.N. “Bud” DeSart is quoted as saying the company is resolved to protect the public health. Continue reading
Roberto Cabrales of Communities for a Better Environment regularly includes the Exide Technologies plant in Vernon in the activist group’s “toxic tour” of pollution sites to the east and south of Los Angeles. (Chris Richard)
By Chris Richard
Like most 6-year-olds, Claudia Gomez’s son, Stanley, loves to play in the dirt, and he doesn’t much like washing his hands. But these days more than ever, Gomez is a stickler for cleanliness.
On Sunday evening, she spotted the grime as Stanley raced past her on his way to play outside.
Exide plant may have showered its neighbors with lead dust for decades.
“I already washed my hands!” Stanley complained.
The protest didn’t work. Gomez hauled Stanley to the sink and started scrubbing.
Gomez is being so careful because the state Department of Toxic Substances Control has warned parents not to let their children play in the dirt. The department is urging frequent hand-washing as a precaution against lead poisoning. Continue reading
The Exide Technologies plant in Vernon. (Photo/Chris Richard)
By Chris Richard
Tests of homes and schools near a battery recycling plant east of Los Angeles have detected elevated lead levels, prompting state officials Monday to caution the public against exposure and to order expanded testing.
Both neighborhoods surveyed exceeded the state’s “health screening level” for lead of 80 parts per million. One home topped 580 parts per million, according to a testing report.
Residents are cautioned to keep children away from bare soil and to wash hands thoroughly.
The state Department of Toxic Substances Control has given Exide Technologies until March 21 to develop a plan for additional testing of the 39 homes and two schools included in the original study, as well as a wider area.
This announcement follows testing last month in Boyle Heights and Maywood, just east of downtown Los Angeles. It marks the DTSC’s first discovery of widespread ground contamination in residential areas near Exide’s plant in Vernon. Continue reading