Battery manufacturing company Exide Technologies will permanently close its battery recycling facility in Vernon, California, and pay $50 million to cleanup the site and surrounding neighborhoods, which have been polluted by environmental toxins for almost a century, following an agreement reached with the US Department of Justice.
The company admits the plant produces a host of hazardous wastes, including lead, cadmium, arsenic and volatile organic compounds. Exide also acknowledged criminal conduct, including the illegal storage, illegal disposal, illegal shipment and illegal transportation of hazardous waste.
Exide had planned to resume operations at the recycling facility as early as next month, but the agreement calls for the facility to be shuttered, demolished and cleaned up. Exide is also required to make expedited payments that will complete funding of a $9 million trust fund that will be used to clean up 216 nearby residences in the Boyle Heights neighborhood and the city of Maywood.