Exide Technologies: A history
Exide files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
After months of elevated lead emissions, air quality officials order Exide to cut production by almost half. Regulators began investigating after receiving complaints about ash fallout and damage to car rooftops across the street in an industrial area of Vernon.
The battery recycling plant is told to reduce its emissions after recent tests showed it’s posing a danger to as many as 110,000 people living in an area that extends from Boyle Heights to Maywood and Huntington Park.
State regulators take the highly unusual step of suspending operations at the Exide plant, which has discharged harmful quantities of lead for years and whose arsenic emissions pose a danger to nearby residents.
Exide Technologies files for bankruptcy protection, citing the forced suspension of operations at its Vernon battery recycling plant and other economic factors.
State officials order Exide Technologies to begin testing dust and soil in the neighborhoods around its plant to determine whether dangerous metals have accumulated and are posing a health risk to the community.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health begins offering free blood testing for lead poisoning to address worries that the Exide plant has jeopardized the health of hundreds of thousands of residents in southeast L.A. County.
Air quality regulators order the embattled Vernon battery recycler to cut production after an air monitor revealed lead emissions had exceeded health standards over a 30-day period.
The state Department of Toxic Substances Control issues an emergency order directing Exide Technologies to clean up lead and other metals that have been deposited near its Vernon plant.
Elevated levels of lead are found in the soil of homes and a preschool near the Exide plant in southeast Los Angeles County, prompting officials to issue health precautions and order expanded testing in additional neighborhoods.
The Exide plant may not resume lead smelting until its furnaces can operate in compliance with tough new air district rules on arsenic emissions.
State regulators greatly expand the area of homes, schools and parks that will be tested for lead-tainted soil near the Exide plant in Vernon. Crews begin removing contaminated soil from homes in Boyle Heights.
Exide Technologies receives a subpoena from a federal grand jury in connection with a criminal investigation involving its Vernon plant, a financial disclosure by the company reveals.
Gov. Jerry Brown signs a bill setting a deadline for the state Department of Toxic Substances Control to either grant the Exide a full hazardous-waste permit by the end of 2015 or shut the facility down. The state had allowed the plant to operate for decades with a temporary hazardous waste permit.
Hazardous waste from the Vernon battery recycling plant dripped from tractor-trailers onto public roadways, newly released public records show. A environmental inspector called the leaks of acid- and lead-tainted liquid an “on-going problem” that “needs to be addressed immediately.”
The state orders Exide Technologies to pay for the cleanup of homes and yards contaminated by its battery recycling plant in Vernon. Regulators fine Exide $526,000 for improperly managing hazardous waste.
Exide officials willfully endangered the health of more than 60 children living near the company’s troubled battery recycling plant in Vernon, a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court says.
Exide is cited for eight news hazardous-waste violations after inspections find the plant was treating and storing contaminated sludge in unauthorized tanks that lacked an adequate containment system to prevent spills. Inspectors also find holes in the facility’s walls and roof, among other problems.
Soil tests show lead contamination from the Exide plant extends over a much larger area than previously estimated, possibly reaching as many as 10,000 homes up to 1.7 miles away, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control announces.
Authorities say the removal of lead-contaminated soil from thousands of homes near the Exide plant would be the largest cleanup of its kind in California and among the biggest conducted nationwide.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis calls for the state to appoint an independent expert to oversee the cleanup of homes near Exide and a commission to investigate “what exactly happened and who is responsible.”
California regulators announce a plan to use $7 million in state money to quickly expand testing and cleanup of lead-contaminated properties surrounding a closed battery recycling plant in Vernon. The proposal draws skepticism from residents, who accuse state officials of being slow to acknowledge the extent of contamination and of dragging their feet with the cleanup.
Los Angeles County supervisors, frustrated by what they say is a lack of urgency by state officials, approve spending $2 million to speed the removal of lead from homes and yards near the Exide Technologies plant.
Gov. Jerry Brown proposes spending $176.6 million to accelerate the testing and cleanup of thousands of homes.
State officials say they will begin using data on levels of lead in children’s blood to help focus the massive cleanup of contaminated homes.
A state health department analysis finds children living near the now-closed battery recycling plant had higher levels of lead in their blood than those living farther away.
Sources: Times research
Credits: Maloy Moore, Tony Barboza