Lead Acid Battery Recycling Bill Signed by Governor Will Fund Cleanup of Exide and Other Sites

For immediate release:

(Sacramento) – AB 2153 will reallocate a fee already imposed on all car batteries to fund the cleanup of contamination caused by lead acid batteries throughout the state including the Exide contamination which is in Assemblymember Garcia’s district.  Manufacturers and consumers will pay a $1 fee on all batteries sold in the state. The money will fund the clean-up of Exide and 14 other areas throughout the state that are contaminated by Lead-Acid batteries. This measure will bring relief to these affected communities throughout the state and ensure solutions to a major long-term problem.

“Residents affected by Exide never thought this day would come after fighting for decades to get leaders to take their concerns seriously, but as someone who has grown up with this all their lives, I was not willing to wait any longer or continue to look the other way.  But today, AB 2153 writes a new chapter and will play a vital role in ensuring cleanup by bringing relief to our communities.” said Garcia.

“The State Legislature, Senator Pro Tem De Leon, Speaker Rendon and Governor Brown are sending a clear message to residents in the affected communities that they do matter and we will no longer let them live on poisoned soil,” said Garcia. “Today we begin to right a wrong and let these communities know there is only one California and we all matter irrespective of our skin color or income.”

AB 2153 reflects extensive and intense negotiations between all stakeholders and will bring approximately $30 million a year of continuous revenue to fund cleanup for any sites in California contaminated by lead-acid batteries.

The effects of improper disposal, production, and recycling of lead-acid batteries are detrimental to our communities. Lead contamination has devastating consequences, especially for young children and pregnant mothers, including cancer, birth defects, and other reproductive harm. Exide, the former operator of a battery facility that is believed to be the cause of lead contamination found in surrounding communities, has declared bankruptcy, which may make recovering cleanup costs difficult. Decontamination of the production site alone is estimated at $50 million. The 10,000 homes surrounding is estimated at $500 million and this is one of fourteen locations in the state that have been identified that may be eligible for funding.