News Release

Meredith Williams, Director


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2020

Contact: Barbara Zumwalt
(916) 708-4303
Barbara.Zumwalt@dtsc.ca.gov

DTSC’s Response to a Federal Bankruptcy Court’s Decision to Release Exide from its Obligations

SACRAMENTO – DTSC today released the following statement in response to a federal bankruptcy court’s decision to release Exide from its obligations to cleanup their former lead-acid battery recycling facility in Vernon:

“Today a federal bankruptcy court released Exide and its creditors from their obligations to clean up lead and other toxic substances at their closed lead-acid battery recycling facility in Vernon, California, despite the danger this contaminated site poses to the surrounding communities.  DTSC strongly objected to Exide’s plan to abandon the Vernon property and walk away from its cleanup obligations. DTSC will continue to fight to hold Exide accountable by appealing this ruling.  

“DTSC’s immediate and top priority is to protect the communities surrounding the Vernon plant.  

“The Judge ordered Exide to continue to maintain the temporary protective structures and systems installed at the site to prevent release of contaminated water and dust containing lead and other metals until October 30.  After that time, unless the court’s order is stayed, responsibility for cleanup will transition an environmental trust or DTSC will step in to secure the property and oversee future cleanup.

“As we are reviewing today’s ruling, DTSC will continue to keep the public and communities updated.”

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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.