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June 10, 2013 | By Kim Christensen, Los Angeles Times
Battery maker Exide Technologies filed for bankruptcy protection Monday, citing the forced suspension of operations at its Vernon lead-recycling plant and other economic factors. Exide, one of the world's largest makers and recyclers of lead-acid batteries, said in court papers that since the plant's April 24 closure by state regulators, the Georgia company has had to tap other sources of lead, driving up costs and cutting earnings. "As a result of the Vernon shutdown and the company's poor financial performance in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2013, it became apparent that a successful out-of-court restructuring was unlikely," Chief Financial Officer Phillip Damaska wrote in a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc
The beleaguered operator of a Vernon battery-recycling plant announced the temporary layoffs of nearly all of its employees Monday, weeks after air-quality regulators shut down its operations over air pollution concerns. Exide Technologies said in a statement that it had issued notices to 104 hourly employees and 20 managers at the facility that they could be laid off within 60 days. The plant, which has been a source of community outrage since regulators announced last year that its arsenic emissions posed a danger to more than 100,000 people, has been idle since last month.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
A Vernon battery recycler may not resume lead smelting until its furnaces can operate in compliance with tough new air district rules on arsenic emissions. The South Coast Air Quality Management District's hearing board ruled Tuesday that Exide Technologies, which is accused of endangering the health of more than 100,000 people across southeast Los Angeles County, must maintain "negative pressure" in its furnaces. That means particles from the smelting process must be sucked into air pollution control devices that can keep toxic compounds from wafting over neighborhoods.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
A Vernon battery recycler may not resume lead smelting until its furnaces can operate in compliance with tough new air district rules on arsenic emissions. The South Coast Air Quality Management District's hearing board ruled Tuesday that Exide Technologies, which is accused of endangering the health of more than 100,000 people across southeast Los Angeles County, must maintain "negative pressure" in its furnaces. That means particles from the smelting process must be sucked into air pollution control devices that can keep toxic compounds from wafting over neighborhoods.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 10, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
After an emotional hearing that had residents of southeast Los Angeles County talking about family members who have died of cancer, air quality officials voted unanimously Friday to adopt strict new rules on emissions of arsenic, benzene and other toxic chemicals from lead-acid battery facilities. The rules, which will go into effect next month, apply to Exide Technologies in Vernon and Quemetco in the city of Industry - the only two battery recyclers west of the Rocky Mountains.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
A Vernon battery recycler under fire for contaminating nearby homes with lead and threatening the health of more than 100,000 people with its arsenic emissions is in trouble once again for emitting more than the permitted level of lead, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District. As a result, the agency will order Exide to curtail its operations by 15%. On March 22 and 23, an air monitor on the northeast side of the Exide Technologies plant, near the Los Angeles River, picked up lead levels that were high enough to cause the outdoor air concentration to exceed 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter based on a 30-day average - a violation of rules designed to protect public health.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
Elevated levels of lead have been found in the soil of homes and a preschool near a battery recycling plant in Vernon, prompting officials to issue health warnings and order more testing in adjacent neighborhoods. State toxic waste regulators said the initial results from 39 homes as well as two schools concerned them enough that they have directed Exide Technologies to create a plan to protect children and pregnant women living in affected homes, as well as perform the additional testing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 2013 | By Jessica Garrison
The speaker of California's Assembly and two state senators took environmental regulators to task before an angry crowd Tuesday over their failure to regulate a battery recycler in Vernon whose emissions have been deemed a health risk to hundreds of thousands of people. The people in this community feel "completely ignored by those in government," said Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, who arrived midway through the community meeting with regulators including the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 15, 2013 | By Jessica Garrison
One by one, hour after hour Saturday in a ballroom at Cal State Los Angeles, residents, elected officials and activists from southeast Los Angeles pleaded with an air district hearing board to shut down a Vernon battery recycler accused of endangering hundreds of thousands of people because of unsafe arsenic and lead emissions. "I'm a mother, asking you, please, do something," said Sandra Martinez. "I go days without sleeping, worrying about my child dying in his sleep from asthma.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 18, 2013 | By Kim Christensen and Jessica Garrison
Regional air pollution regulators moved Friday to shut down Exide Technologies' troubled battery recycling plant in Vernon, citing public health risks from its repeated emissions of lead and arsenic. The South Coast Air Quality Management District has asked an independent administrative law panel for an order to halt lead smelting operations at the plant "until its air pollution control systems are improved and deemed adequate" to control toxic emissions, the agency said in a news release.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
A Vernon battery recycler under fire for contaminating nearby homes with lead and threatening the health of more than 100,000 people with its arsenic emissions is in trouble once again for emitting more than the permitted level of lead, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District. As a result, the agency will order Exide to curtail its operations by 15%. On March 22 and 23, an air monitor on the northeast side of the Exide Technologies plant, near the Los Angeles River, picked up lead levels that were high enough to cause the outdoor air concentration to exceed 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter based on a 30-day average - a violation of rules designed to protect public health.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
Furious residents confronted state officials at a community meeting Wednesday night to discuss the high levels of lead found in the backyards of homes near a Vernon battery recycling plant. "We've been hearing the same junk over and over and over," said Robert Cabrales, an organizer with the environmental justice group Communities for a Better Environment. "When are we going to see cleanup in our communities?" The meeting came one week after state officials announced that soil testing had revealed elevated levels of lead in the soil at homes and a park north and south of the Exide Technologies plant.
OPINION
March 15, 2014
Here's a response to Rick Perry for his latest attempt to woo California businesses to Texas that the Lone Star State governor might understand: Bring it on. Perry, whose state just poached L.A.-based Occidental Petroleum Corp., plans another swing through Southern California next week backed by an ad blitz touting Texas' business-friendly climate against California's supposedly commerce-hostile environment, according to a Times article on Thursday....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
The first Zoila Meeks heard about pollution from a Vernon battery recycler was when workers showed up at her Boyle Heights home last month and asked to dig up her yard to test for lead. They found it, and now Meeks and dozens of other residents in this quiet neighborhood of tree-lined streets tucked near the Los Angeles River are left wondering whether their health has been threatened, and what is going to happen to their homes. "It's very scary," said Meeks, who has a 7-month-old daughter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
The first Zoila Meeks heard about a Vernon battery recycler was when workers showed up at her Boyle Heights home last month and asked to dig up her yard to test for lead. They found it, and now Meeks and dozens of other residents in this quiet neighborhood of tree-lined streets tucked near the Los Angeles River are left wondering whether their health has been threatened, and what is going to happen to their homes. “It's very scary,” said Meeks, who has a 7-month-old daughter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 11, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
Officials plan to hold a community meeting next week to discuss elevated levels of lead found in soil at homes and a preschool near a battery recycling plant in southeast Los Angeles. The findings have prompted officials to issue health precautions and order expanded testing in more neighborhoods. State officials said the initial testing of 39 homes and apartments as well as two schools concerned them enough that they ordered Exide Technologies to create a plan for more testing and to protect children and pregnant women living in the area.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 2013 | By Jessica Garrison and Kim Christensen, Los Angeles Times
Days before a series of public meetings are to begin on the health risks allegedly posed by a Vernon battery-recycling plant, the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday urged the state to more rigorously regulate the facility. The council also asked the city attorney to lay out possible legal action against plant owner Exide Technologies, one of the world's largest makers and recyclers of lead-acid batteries, or to compel the state to ensure that the public is protected from potentially dangerous levels of lead and arsenic.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 23, 2013 | By Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times
A battery recycling plant in Vernon is being told to reduce its emissions after recent tests showed it is posing a danger to as many as 110,000 people living in an area that extends from Boyle Heights to Maywood and Huntington Park. The South Coast Air Quality Management District announced late Friday that Exide Technologies, one of the largest battery recyclers in the world, must also hold public meetings later this spring to inform residents that they face an increased cancer risk and outline steps being taken to reduce it. Air district officials said Exide's most recent assessment showed a higher cancer risk affecting a larger number of residents than any other of the more than 450 regulated facilities in Southern California over the 25-year history of a program to monitor toxic air contaminants.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 11, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to create a county "strike team" that will target facilities that emit toxic pollutants - the first being the Exide Technologies battery-recycling plant in Vernon. The team of county public-health officials, prosecutors, fire department officials and others will look for ways to close the plant. The facility is operating on a temporary permit.  The county staff members will also use state data to identify which communities have the greatest health risk because of toxic chemicals and which facilities are emitting toxic pollutants in those communities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
Elevated levels of lead have been found in the soil of homes and a preschool near a battery recycling plant in Vernon, prompting officials to issue health warnings and order more testing in adjacent neighborhoods. State toxic waste regulators said the initial results from 39 homes as well as two schools concerned them enough that they have directed Exide Technologies to create a plan to protect children and pregnant women living in affected homes, as well as perform the additional testing.
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