The department of toxic substances control hosted a webinar updating community stakeholders about the developments with the contamination clean-up left behind by the old Exide Technologies plant on Sept. 9. The contamination covers a seven mile radius in the city of Vernon.
Peter Ruttan, the unit chief at the Department of Toxic Substances Control said, “8,604 parcels were sampled and 2,841 parcels were cleaned up, including Wyvernwood Gardens Apartments, and Estrada Courts, and that the remediation efforts ran from May 2018 through August 2021. Advertisement
However, there still remain 3400 properties to be cleaned as of December 2020 at a rate of 16 clean-ups per week. The baseline for necessary clean-up is 200PPM lead concentrations and thus new letters sent to 2,000 households for planned sampling.
One of the webinar participants who identified himself as a homeowner where one of the clean up sites said Exide is suing him to pay for the clean up.
The baseline for necessary clean-up is 200PPM lead concentrations and thus new letters sent to 2,000 households for planned sampling.
Deputy Director of DTSC’s Site Mitigation and Restoration Program, Grant Cope, replied to the allegation, explaining that the “National Lead Industries is using this tactic to point to others as responsible, shift the blame.” Cope urged homeowners who find themselves being sued for clean up to attain legal representation.
As if to punctuate the absurdity of homeowners having to defend lawsuits for cleanups of contaminated messes they didn’t cause, Armando said, “My lawyer is asking for a $5,000 retainer.”
“The DTSC appealed the judges decision on Exide settlement. We disagreed with EPA and DOJ backing [of Exide’s] bankruptcy plan… [but the] laws permit lawsuits,” Cope replied. “But we do have additional funding to clean-up 2,700 new properties.”
When asked by this RL reporter why the EPA agreed to such a horrendous bankruptcy settlement that essentially let Exide off the hook and put the clean-up burden on taxpayers. Amanda Cruz- EPA manager for work being done, emailed the following reply:
EPA acknowledges the community’s very real frustration regarding the settlement. We very much sympathize with the community’s disappointment and Judge Sontchi’s previously stated sentiments:
“… the cost of remediating the site will fall on the State of California and, ultimately, its taxpayers. That is neither fair nor avoidable.
Under bankruptcy law, as Judge Sontchi explained, “secured liens … are superior to Exide’s environmental obligation”. As such, with minimal funds left to address the environmental obligations at the site, EPA agreed to the settlement that allowed the Trust to be formed, which reduced the risk of a chaotic and harmful abandonment.”
Lead, even in small quantities, has an immediate impact on brain functioning, especially among infants and youth in the formative stages of brain development. That is why it has been completely removed from paint and gasoline which incorporated lead, as well as colorants on kitchenware, for decades.
Lead is a neurotoxin, and there is no level that is considered safe in humans. Lead poisoning can impact children’s growth, learning and behavior, and there are no obvious symptoms or signs.
More than 500 families across southeast Los Angeles County who lived in an environmental disaster zone for the last several decades commented at a public hearing Oct. 13, 2020 on the proposed bankruptcy of Exide Technologies.
The former battery recycling that operated for 33 years in the city of Vernon.
More than 500 families across southeast Los Angeles County who lived in an environmental disaster zone for the last several decades lined up in a phone queue for hours to comment on the proposed bankruptcy of Exide Technologies. The former battery recycling that operated for 33 years in the city of Vernon. City leaders from across Southeast Los Angeles, County agencies, and various community organizations were in the queue.
To a person they were unequivocally and strenuously opposed to the settlement, even according to an Oct. 17 2020 report in the Los Angeles Times.