State regulators announced Wednesday that they are temporarily shutting down a Vernon battery recycler that has been under fire for posing a danger to as many as 110,000 people because of arsenic emissions.
The state Department of Toxic Substances Control said its order to suspend operations came after reports this spring revealed Exide Technologies, one of the largest car battery recyclers in the world, also has been continuously releasing hazardous waste into the soil beneath its plant because of a degraded pipeline, said spokeswoman Charlotte Fadipe.
“Protection of the community’s health and environment are paramount,” said toxics department director Debbie Raphael in a statement. “This order stops releases and exposures that are completely unacceptable.”
The last time the state toxics department shut down such a large operation was in 1997, when it moved against Salinas-based technology company.