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Deborah O. Raphael, Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2013
DTSC Orders Exide Lead Battery Recycling Plant in Vernon to Suspend Operation
SACRAMENTO – After receiving information that the Exide battery recycling facility in Vernon California is continuously releasing hazardous waste into the soil the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) today ordered the Exide battery recycling facility to suspend operations. The order takes effect immediately.
This follows a recent report by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) that shows the company’s inability to control airborne emissions at its plant.
“Protection of the community’s health and the environment are paramount,” said DTSC Director Debbie Raphael. “This order stops releases and exposures that are completely unacceptable.”
The Exide Technologies facility at 2700 South Indiana Street in Vernon, recycles lead from used automotive batteries and other sources. About 22 million automotive batteries are recycled each year at the plant.
Recent reports submitted, by the facility to DTSC show that the plants underground hazardous waste degraded pipelines are out of compliance with California’s stringent hazardous waste requirements, are releasing toxic metal-bearing water and pose a risk to the environment.
These hazardous waste violations, plus the ongoing risks brought to light by the SCAQMD report show that the facility’s current management of hazardous waste is unsafe.
“This new information provides clear evidence that this suspension is necessary,” said Brian Johnson, who heads DTSC’s Hazardous Waste Management Program. “After the latest information came to light on the conditions of the underground pipes, coupled with the SCAQMD report, DTSC is convinced that the most responsible course of action is to suspend the facility operations.”
The order requires Exide to demonstrate that it can operate without posing a significant health risk and to stop the ongoing release of hazardous waste in the pipelines before the suspension is lifted.
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FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES: Contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control by phone at (800) 728-6942 or visit www.dtsc.ca.gov. To report illegal handling, discharge, or disposal of hazardous waste, call the Waste Alert Hotline at (800) 698-6942.
The mission of DTSC is to protect California’s people and environment from harmful effects of toxic substances by restoring contaminated properties, enforcing hazardous waste law, reducing hazardous waste generation, and encouraging the manufacture of chemically safer products.