FROM Nancy Martinez
Exide Cleanup Gov. Jerry Brown introduced a $177 million plan yesterday to test and clean up the areas contaminated by the Exide battery recycling plant. This comes almost one year since Exide Technologies shuttered its Vernon facility to avoid criminal charges for illegally handling toxic materials. For decades, the plant operated without a formal permit, melting down used car batteries. Exide polluted the air and the soil underneath the plant and in surrounding neighborhoods with lead and other toxic materials. Yet testing and cleanup efforts have been very, very slow. Thousands of angry, fearful residents have been waiting for their homes to be tested, or for yards with confirmed high levels of contamination to be cleaned up. We hear from one such resident whose yard contains very high levels of lead contamination, as well as a reporter covering the story.
California's Double Standard for Public Protection State regulators waited for months before they responded to the Southern California Gas Company's dangerous leak in the San Fernando Valley. They waited for years until the federal government finally forced closure of the Exide Technologies battery-recycling plant near East Los Angeles. Nancy Martinez reports for Eastern Group Publications, with six bi-lingual papers, including the Eastside Sun .
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