Exide Technologies submits plan for final closure of Vernon site


Exide Technologies, the US-based lead battery manufacturer and recycler, submitted an implementation plan on January 9 for the final closure of the battery recycling plant at Vernon, near Los Angeles in California.

The plan was submitted after a Closure Plan was published by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control in December, which sets out in detail how the site is to be made safe and cleaned up.

Exide confirmed it would make $38 million available to help pay for the work, with another $11 million paid into a closure bond and $8.25 million in an escrow account for the same purpose.

Exide Technologies is committed to fulfil our obligations to the Vernon community,” the company said. “Our number one priority, and a key component of our company’s values, is to protect the health, safety and well-being of our employees and the people in the communities where we operate and live.

We have funded the remediation of more than 180 homes closest to the facility and outside the potential impact area as well as conducting ongoing blood-testing in the area.”

While Exide has carried out its pledges to assist with the clean-up around Vernon, the firm told BESB that a scientific study had found that only soil in industrial areas surrounding the plant had been found to have higher levels of lead, and not soil in residential areas.

Exide continues to stand by the conclusions of the only published scientific study conducted to date, available on the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s website, that Exide has not caused lead contamination above urban background levels in the residential areas closest to the former Exide Vernon facility,” the company said.