Exide Bankruptcy Settlement
Community Informational Briefing on Exide Bankruptcy
Posted: October 20, 2020
Last week, a federal bankruptcy court released Exide from its obligations to clean up their former facility in Vernon. DTSC is appealing the judge’s order and will continue to prioritize the health and safety of nearby communities. You’re invited to join us tonight, October 21, to learn more about the court’s decision, the option of an Exide Vernon Environmental Response Trust, and next steps.
- What: Community Informational Briefing on Exide Bankruptcy
- When: 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21
- How to participate:
- Dial 1-800-369-1737; Passcode 1235729
- Para escuchar en español: (877) 779-6711; Contraseña 1847879#
The Exide Bankruptcy Hearing has adjourned for the day, and will reconvene at 7am PST on Friday, Oct. 16.
Posted: October 15, 2020
The Department of Justice will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve Exide’s proposed Settlement Agreement, which, among other things, would allow Exide to walk away from its former lead-acid battery recycling facility in Vernon.
A copy of the Consent Decree and Settlement Agreement can be found on the Department of Justice’s website:
- Agreement: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decree/file/1326556/download
- Appendices: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decree/file/1326561/download
To listen to the Court hearing, dial 855-855-8556, and enter the following passcode when prompted: 1410833#
US DOJ and US EPA to Hold Oct. 13 Exide Bankruptcy Virtual Public Meeting
Posted: October 12, 2020
The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. EPA have scheduled a public hearing in response to public comment on Exide’s proposal to abandon its former lead-acid battery recycling facility in Vernon as part of its bankruptcy proceedings.
Here is how you can participate:
The virtual public meeting will be held 4-7 p.m. Tuesday October 13.
Toll-free call-in line: (844) 337-7911
Conference ID: 5795412
Participants will be asked to state their names but can avoid this by pressing the pound key (#).
Those who would like to speak should press *1. For operator assistance, press *0.
DTSC Imminent and Substantial Endangerment Determination Tied to Exide Bankruptcy
Posted: October 12, 2020
DTSC is taking action to protect workers and other people from risks posed by the former Exide battery-recycling facility in Vernon. On Monday, October 12, DTSC issued a determination that there may be an “imminent and substantial endangerment to the public health or welfare or to the environment” due to conditions at Exide’s Vernon facility (Health & Saf. Code, §§ 25355.5, subd. (b)(3), 25358.3, subd. (a).). This determination will allow DTSC to more quickly contract to safely continue closure activities and to protect people from exposure to on-site contaminants.
DTSC issued this determination in light of site conditions and in response to Exide’s most recent bankruptcy filing, in which Exide proposes to abandon the property. Currently, multiple temporary protective structures have been installed at the site to prevent release of contaminated water and dust containing extremely high levels of lead and other metals. Those protective structures require daily maintenance. DTSC is concerned that if a court allows Exide to abandon the site, no one would be responsible for maintaining these safety controls and people on-site and off-site could be placed at risk.
The timing of this determination is based on the bankruptcy proceedings themselves, and the recent increased threat of abandonment. It provides authorities to expedite DTSC’s ability to ensure the facility is properly maintained in its current state and that human health and the environment is protected. Had DTSC made this determination earlier, it would not have changed the priority of DTSC’s bankruptcy monetary claims and thus would not have benefited DTSC’s ability to receive funds out of the bankruptcy.
This determination is an update and expansion to an earlier imminent and substantial endangerment determination DTSC issued in 2015 for the residential area around the facility. This updated determination includes Exide’s former facility but does not change DTSC’s 2015 determination’s in residential areas. No funds from the residential cleanup will be diverted to overseeing the safe closure of the facility. DTSC required Exide to provide $26.4 million in financial assurance funds, which DTSC will use to ensure continuation of the work of safely closing the facility and protecting the people who live and work nearby.
Public Comment Period (closed)
Posted: October 6, 2020
Communities surrounding the former Exide lead-acid battery recycling facility in Vernon have engaged in longstanding efforts to secure cleanup of the site. Following Exide’s most recent bankruptcy filing earlier this year, the company has proposed a plan that would allow it to abandon the site and its associated environmental impacts.
If this site is abandoned, it will be orphaned with no functional owner capable of securing the site and continuing to clean it up. The U.S. Department of Justice (U.S. DOJ) agreed in a settlement agreement with Exide not to oppose abandonment.
U.S. DOJ and U.S. EPA announced a public comment period on this issue, which included the opportunity to request a public meeting – the public comment period ended on October 6, 2020.
On October 2, 2020, DTSC held an informational briefing on this issue. See the presentation slides: Exide Bankruptcy: Informational Briefing on Public Comment Opportunity (PDF).
Exide Bankruptcy Reference Materials
- Presentation slides for briefing meeting: English | Español
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): English | Español
- News Release: October 16, 2020, DTSC’s Response to a Federal Bankruptcy Court’s Decision to Release Exide from its Obligations
- News Release: October 12, 2020, DTSC Imminent and Substantial Endangerment Determination Tied to Exide Bankruptcy
- Imminent and Substantial Endangerment of Determination Document
- Consent Decree and Settlement Agreement (Dept. of Justice)
- Consent Decree and Settlement Agreement Appendices (Dept. of Justice)
- Exide Bankruptcy: Informational Briefing on Public Comment Opportunity