SANTA MONICA, CA — Consumer Watchdog today called on Governor Brown to direct the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to order Exide Technologies, a lead battery recycler in Vernon, to clean up its lead contamination of soil at 39 homes and a pre-school in the area.
In a letter to Governor Brown, Consumer Advocate Liza Tucker, thanked the Governor for his role in the DTSC’s revealing lead contamination at homes this week, but asked that the governor take the lead on Exide and other cases around the state where regulators are unwilling or unable to prevent public exposure to toxic harm. In the Exide case, the DTSC has called only for further testing.
“For the DTSC to essentially tell pregnant mothers and children not to expose themselves to lead in their yards is not taking meaningful action to protect the public from toxic harm,” the letter said. “For the DTSC to tell Exide to perform yet more tests is a slap in the face to communities that are sick and tired of paying for our society’s productivity and for corporate profits with their health.”
For the letter, see: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/brownexideltr3-11-14.pdf
In the letter, Tucker said that the DTSC had evidence of Exide’s lead contamination for years and looked the other way, choosing not to use financial and enforcement tools at its disposal. Tucker said that the governor should have the DTSC require Exide to put up $50 million to upgrade its technology, clean up contamination, and cover health care costs as well as the cost of closing the plant if it folds. And she asked that the Governor direct the DTSC to use well-known fingerprinting technology they have successfully used in the past to tie the lead emissions to Exide beyond a shadow of a doubt.
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