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Toxic Exide Plant in Vernon Won't Actually Go Away For Years

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Last week, the US attorney made a deal with chronic polluter of air and soil/battery recycler Exide Technologies: Exide would admit they they improperly disposed of toxic substances from their Vernon plant in exchange for immunity from criminal prosecution for doing that thing they just admitted they did; and then they'd shut down their site, raze it, and foot the bill for cleaning up their mess. It's looking like that process will take years, says KPCC. In fact, just clearing the buildings and structures off the site is expected to take two years, and that process won't even start for a while.

After the first wave of cleanup—the removal of the physical structures at Exide—the second wave will cover the "decontamination" of the site, a process that's expected to take "several years." And before this chain reaction of cleaning up begins, a bankruptcy court has to give the green light to the terms that Exide and the US Attorney agreed to last week. That's expected to happen by the end of the month and then phase one won't begin until October.

And what about the dozens of homes nearby found to be contaminated with lead and arsenic? Cleanup has begun there and is slowly creeping along. "Of the 216 residences in the affected area, 58 have been sampled for contamination and nearly 40 have been cleaned," says KPCC. Each house costs about $45,000 to clean.
· Exide closure: Lead and arsenic removal from Vernon plant will take years [SCPR]
· Poisonous Vernon Plant Finally Getting Shut Down and Razed [Curbed LA]