News Release

T – 13 – 19
Barbara A. Lee, Director


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 11, 2018

Contact: Abbott Dutton
(916) 324-2997
Abbott.Dutton@dtsc.ca.gov

DTSC Adds Second Contractor to Help Clean Up Properties Near Exide

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has added a second contractor – Parsons Environment & Infrastructure Group Inc. – to clean up lead-contaminated properties surrounding the now-closed Exide Technologies battery recycling facility in Vernon, California. 

“Bringing on Parsons adds an experienced partner to this project and helps accelerate the pace of cleanup to protect the residents in the communities surrounding Exide,” DTSC Director Barbara A. Lee said. “We are unwavering in our commitment to safely and effectively complete the cleanup of these properties.”

With the addition of Parsons, DTSC now has two contractors working on the Exide cleanup. Parsons will remediate up to 1,610 properties in addition to the ongoing work by NEC Construction Inc., whose April 2018 contract was expanded last month to include more properties and a broader geographic area.

The cleanup work will be divided geographically between the two contractors. Under the contract announced today, Parsons will work with Innovative Construction Solutions (ICS) to remediate properties in the cities of Los Angeles and Maywood and in unincorporated East Los Angeles County. NEC’s cleanup work will focus on the cities of Bell, Commerce, Huntington Park, and Vernon.

Both contracts require the contractors to comply with the Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between DTSC and the Los Angeles/Orange County Building Trades Council, which represents 25 craft unions and district councils. The PLA has a specific local-hire approach to extend employment opportunities to communities impacted by the former Exide facility. All employees covered by the PLA will be paid by the employers in compliance with prevailing wage laws.

In addition, both contracts include requirements for hiring graduates of the Workforce for Environmental Restoration in Communities (WERC), a local workforce development program created by DTSC to train and promote hiring of residents in communities near the former Exide Technologies facility. Sixteen WERC graduates are currently employed in the cleanup, and more graduates are expected to fill new positions.

“Terms of the agreement ensure the efficient and timely completion of work and provide job training and long-term economic benefits to the affected communities,” said Francesca Negri, DTSC Chief Deputy Director. “The PLA also realizes DTSC’s commitment to include small
businesses and disabled veteran-owned businesses in the project.”

Last year, following extensive public and community outreach, DTSC approved a cleanup plan that calls for cleaning residential properties, schools, parks, and day-care centers with the highest levels of lead in soil and the greatest risk of exposure. The Department’s top priority is protecting the health and safety of people in this area, especially the youngest and most vulnerable. 

Ultimately, DTSC will hold Exide and any other responsible parties accountable for the costs of cleaning up the contamination. 

In 2016, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed legislation directing $176.6 million to expedite the sampling of the approximately 10,000 residential and other sensitive land-use properties and to clean up as many as 2,500 properties with the highest levels of lead in soil and the greatest risk of exposure. This cleanup is the largest of its kind undertaken in California.

Residents who have questions about the project can call (844) 225-3887. DTSC representatives are also available to answer questions in English and Spanish during business hours at our Commerce Office, located at 6119 E. Washington Boulevard, Suite 120, Commerce, California 90040.

View documents related to this case on our Project Contracts page.

View this video to learn more about the cleanup process and hear from residents who have had their properties cleaned.

To view the Cleanup Plan and Environmental Impact Report, visit our Residential Cleanup page.

Additional project documents and information can be found on our Workforce for Environmental Restoration in Communities (WERC) page.

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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.