Judge Allows Vernon Battery Recycler to Resume Operations

State will appeal court decision at July 2nd hearing.

By City News Service

Exide Technologies, a battery manufacturer and recycler in Vernon that was previously ordered to halt work after arsenic emissions were found around their plant, has been allowed to resume operations after a Superior Court judge issued a restraining order Monday against the state’s toxics management agency.

The order issued by Superior Court Judge Luis A. Lavin lifts the suspension of operations at Exide Technologies, 2700 S. Indiana St., issued in April by the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC), pending an upcoming hearing.

Exide Technologies, 2700 S. Indiana St., was ordered to suspend operations in April.(EGP photo by Gloria Angelina Castillo)

The department alleged that “metal bearing” waste is leaking from underground pipes at Exide Technologies and the continued operation of the plant would be unsafe.

“We are disappointed that the Superior Court granted Exide’s application for a temporary restraining order,” said DTSC’s Tamma Adamek.

The agency will return to court on July 2 to try to gain a preliminary injunction to resume its suspension of Exide, Adamek said.

Exide representatives were not immediately available for comment.

Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar criticized the decision.

“The criteria for Exide reopening should be based solely on whether it is safe to do so and whether the public is at risk or not,” Huizar said.

A month before the state agency ordered Exide to cease operations, the South Coast Air Quality Management District cited the company for discharging arsenic, affecting nearby businesses, as well as neighboring communities in Commerce, Maywood and Huntington Park.

Boyle Heights is part of Huizar’s council district and within an area of about 110,000 residents that could also have been affected by arsenic pollution.

“While I still have serious questions about why Exide was allowed to operate by the DTSC under an interim permit for more than three decades, we have to first and foremost protect the people who are living in the surrounding communities right now,” Huizar said.

“Stringent requirements need to be part of ensuring that safety. I’m disappointed with the Superior Court’s ruling because it gives more credence to Exide’s relation with the DTSC, rather than Exide’s record and history with the communities it surrounds.”

The Los Angeles City Council in May approved a resolution backing an investigation into Exide and called on DTSC to ensure the company upgrades its wastewater pipes that the state agency alleged were leaking arsenic.

The Vernon plant recycles 22 million automotive batteries a year and has been operating in Vernon since the 1920s. Exide, a publicly traded company with operations in 80 countries, took over operations about 10 years ago.

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June 20, 2013  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

Comments

3 Responses to “Judge Allows Vernon Battery Recycler to Resume Operations”

  1. Nadine Diaz, MSW on June 20th, 2013 10:38 pm

    I am pleased to see Huizar take a firm stand on this issue. The community is fed up with our neighborhood being neglected and polluted for 82 years by Exide. The company is out because the people are not going to take it anymore.

    There are several other companies the people of the East Side are not happy about, but at this point the topic is Exide and the word is “The dump is going to be shut down for the health of the community.

    Thanks Jose Huizar for stepping up to the plate on this issue. Hope to see you on board with the other land use issues that are on the table right now too. The community will prevail!!!

    Sincerely,
    Nadine Diaz, MSW
    Democratic Delegate, L.A. County Democratic Party, CA Democratic Party
    AD 53, Speaker John Perez, former Speaker Fabian Nunez, 2001-2016.

  2. govea on June 20th, 2013 10:42 pm

    I and my son’s have had one of the probles that you can get.we have had our surgerys..we. are still alive. I have had cancer and I always wonder why my doctors didn’t know why..Know I know or belive this is the reason Why..I am lucky they found it in time.by accident. Yes!… I only had 4 surgerys the first Was cancer but they went back in and cleaned me out..the last 2 I was lucky No cancer.but aftet 40 yrs surgery again I lucky no cancer my sons no cancer.But I say what about the new ch I’ll ldren. What will they get?? The furture is there’s…

  3. Jonathan on June 27th, 2013 11:27 am

    Councilman Huizar could have been MUCH stronger in his statement against Exide. He’s leaving room for them to keep on operating with his statement…Typical of his verbage.

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