City of Vernon California

Statement on Exide Technologies battery recycling plant closure agreement

March 12, 2015

Press Release (PDF: 148KB)

Vernon, CA – Vernon City Administrator Mark Whitworth today issued the following statement regarding the agreement reached with the U.S. Attorney by Exide Technologies, Inc. to close the company's battery recycling plant in Vernon.

"The City of Vernon intends to closely monitor the environmental cleanup of the Exide Technologies battery recycling plant, now that the company has reached an agreement with the U.S. Attorney to close the facility permanently.

"For the past two-years, Vernon city staff with our Public Works, Fire and Health & Environmental Control departments have been working with Exide plant operators to expedite the safe cleanup of lead dust originating at the facility from nearby Vernon business properties and thoroughfares. We have had a multi-department Exide Working Group monitoring all aspects of Exide's plant operation and its impacts since the South Coast Air Quality Management District's study on arsenic emission was made public in April 2013.

"In November 2013, members of the Vernon City Council unanimously approved a resolution in support of the AQMD's Rule 1420.1, the agency's tough air emissions standards for lead acid battery recycling facilities in the South Coast Air Basin. Vernon was the only city to do so.

"As Exide commences will full closure of its plant operations and site cleanup, our city's staff will work cooperatively and collaboratively with federal, state and regional health, environmental and air quality agency staff to ensure the Exide plant closure process causes no harm to Vernon residents or business employees or residents and workers in our surrounding communities."