Months of public attention and focused government action recently ended the natural gas leak in the upscale development of Porter Ranch. In dramatic — and embarrassing -- contrast, it took a threat of federal criminal action to finally close the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon last year. The plant operated for decades with a temporary permit emitting lead dust, arsenic, and benzene. Residents are getting tested and learning the full scope of their exposure. Members of the community and county lawmakers want to know why it took so long for the state to react.