Exide Technologies to Shut its Vernon Plant Soon

Exide Technologies to Shut its Vernon Plant Soon

A Los Angeles County battery recycler has agreed to shut down its plant amid a long public fight over its toxic output. The closure of Exide Technologies was announced on Wednesday, under a deal with federal prosecutors. Thom Mrozek, US attorney's spokesman, said that the agreement meant the immediate and permanent closure of the plant in Vernon.

He added that the agreement was planned in order to ensure the availability of money to pay for tens of millions of dollars in clean-up. Further, he refused to give more details and said that more would be unveiled on Thursday.

The representatives of Exide declined to comment on the matter.

The 15-acre plant is located at five miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles and was idle for a year due to the on-going legal and environmental battles, but its owners were hopeful that it will reopen.

For decades, Exide was warned by the Local, state and federal officials, for the emission of too much lead and arsenic and the violation of hazardous waste laws both in and around the plant and on the highways where its trucks travel.

Last fall, Exide decided to set aside $38.6 million for the shut down and clean-up of its site and another $9 million for cleaning up soil around nearby homes. Since the 1980s, the company had functioned under interim status.

State Senate leader Kevin de Leon sent a letter to the Department of Toxic Substances Control, earlier this week, and urged to reject a permit to the recycler. De Leon wrote that there was no particular reason that pointed out why this facility should continue operation.

According to an EPA violation notice, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, the US Environmental Protection Agency cited Exide for four latest violations of the Clean Air Act, a few days before De Leon's letter.