Far from doing an “About Face” as your Vernon Sun news article implies (“Vernon Does About Face, Orders Exide to Clean Up”) on January 2, 2014, the City of Vernon took affirmative enforcement actions to ensure that Exide Technologies swiftly remediates a hazardous lead dust condition brought to light by the toxic substance sampling survey undertaken by the state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).
When new findings on the presence of lead dust survey were revealed by the DTSC, the City of Vernon Health and Environmental Control Department (VHEC) determined that the DTSC’s solid evidence of hazardous lead dust exposure represented a serious city code violation. Vernon acted in concert with the DTSC to issue its compliance order. Prior to the DTSC’s scientific findings, the City of Vernon lacked the scientific data necessary to take this specific enforcement action.
Vernon took immediate action to enforce Vernon city codes that are intended to protect the health and safety of people and workers that may be proximate to the Exide lead acid battery recycling plant site where lead dust was detected by DTSC staff.
The City of Vernon works cooperatively with the DTSC, South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) and Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Board) to make certain that the Exide Technologies plant operates safely and within the requirements set forth by our environmental laws and regulations, which are some of the toughest in the nation. We will continue to do so.
We take our jobs seriously. We will remain vigilant in fulfilling our responsibility to safeguard the health and environment in and around the City of Vernon.
Leonard Grossberg is Director of the Health and Environmental Control Department for the City of Vernon.