More on Exide Lead Contamination Plan

Background

  • The Exide Technologies facility, located in Vernon, recycled lead from used automotive batteries and other sources. The facility is no longer operating.
  • In February 2015, DTSC informed Exide that it would not approve a permit for the facility, and on March 12, 2015 DTSC issued an order to close the facility. Based on 2013 data from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, DTSC determined that Exide was responsible for lead contamination in the yards of two residential neighborhoods which include portions of Boyle Heights, Maywood and East Los Angeles, referred to as the “Initial Assessment Area.”
  • DTSC ordered Exide to sample and cleanup the contaminated properties in the Initial Assessment Area, and has completed cleanup at 150 residential properties as of August 2015.
  • DTSC ordered Exide to expand its soil investigation to what is referred to as the “Expanded Area,” which spans approximately 2 miles of additional residential properties.

Status of Expanded Area Cleanup and Testing 

DTSC recently announced preliminary test results from the Expanded Area showing that between 5,000 to 10,000 residential properties may be affected.

  • The cleanup plan will follow twin tracks:
    • Putting funding in place and start the earliest action cleanups to quickly address the greatest exposure to lead;
    • Developing and implementing a longer-term cleanup plan for the larger project to address all the contaminated properties.
  • DTSC has secured $7 million to begin the cleanup and to continue testing of properties. Testing is necessary to:
    • Identify those properties with the greatest risk for lead exposure , and ensure priority cleanup;
    • Hold Exide accountable for its lead contamination; and
    • Identify and pursue others who may be responsible for the lead contamination.

Next Steps in Cleanup and Testing

The next stage of the testing plan will include testing in properties to the east of the Exide facility in the City of Commerce and accountable to the community.

  • Coordinate and collaborate with other federal state and local agencies to recover the costs of the cleanup in other areas.
    • DTSC plans to present a Draft Testing Plan to the Exide Technologies Advisory Group in September 2015.
    • After gathering input from the Advisory Group, members of the community and other agencies, DTSC will finalize the cleanup plan and begin testing.
    • Properties with the greatest potential exposures to lead will be prioritized for cleanup.
  • DTSC will also collaborate with other federal, state and local agencies to leverage expertise and resources to recover the costs of the cleanup which may also involve the remediation of lead based paint.
  • The next Advisory Group meeting will take place in September, date and location to be announced.

Blood Lead Testing Available

If you are concerned that the soil on your property may be contaminated with lead, please sign up for free and confidential blood lead testing. Most children who have lead poisoning do not look or act sick. The only way to know if your child has lead poisoning from any lead contamination source is for your child to get a blood test for lead.

  • To set up blood lead testing, coordinated by LA County Department of Public Health, please call (844) 888-2290, Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.
  • Visit the website for more information.

You can minimize your family’s exposure to lead by:

  • Covering areas of bare soil
  • Removing shoes before going  into homes
  • Washing hands before eating
  • Washing fruits and vegetables from the garden
  • Not digging in dirt where lead may be present

For more information contact the California Department of Public Health, or the LA Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program: 1-800-LA-4-LEAD.

For Additional Information on Exide Technologies

Visit DTSC’s website, or contact Mary Su Maurer, DTSC Public Participation Specialist at Mary.Maurer@dtsc.ca.gov, 1-844-225-3887.