An employee wearing a breathing mask works at Exide Technologies, a battery recycling plant has discharged harmful amounts of lead into surrounding communities.
A lead battery recycler in Vernon shuttered as a public health threat two months ago has won the right to reopen, at least temporarily.
In April, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control(DTSC) ordered Exide Technologies to suspend operations. The company's own inspection video had revealed holes in underground pipes that leaked wastewater into the soil. A health risk assessment released by air regulators had found sharply elevated cancer risks from cyanide and lead emissions for nearby workers and people who lived near the facility.
The company challenged the closure in an administrative proceeding which started earlier this month. But the overworked state Office of Administrative Hearings has not been able to schedule enough time to finish hearing the dispute.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
The Clean Trucks Program, a centerpiece of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's environmental agenda, remains alive after a Supreme Court ruling issued Thursday.
The US Supreme Court gave the trucking industry a victory when it struck down part of the Port of L.A.'s Clean Trucks Program. But the narrow ruling in American Trucking Association vs. City of Los Angeles left the main part of the program alone, so the port can continue to require that cargo haulers use newer, clean fuel burning trucks.
At the same time, it’s important to acknowledge 31-year-old songs wherever you find them - especially if they're buried in a Supreme Court decision.
Justice Elena Kagan revealed herself as a pop aficionado as she described the two provisions of the concession agreements (between the port and the trucking companies) that the Court ruled violated federal law. She wrote:
The two directly at issue here compel the company to (1) affix a placard on each truck with a phone number for reporting environmental or safety concerns (You’ve seen the type: “How am I driving? 213–867–5309”) and (2) submit a plan listing off-street parking locations for each truck when not in service.
Courtesy Hope for the Hills
Chino Hills residents have waged a 6-year campaign against high voltage transmission lines wedged into narrow right-of-ways among homes that Southern California Edison says will connect Kern County wind energy to the LA Basin.
After a years-long fight over whether to place high-voltage transmission lines above ground or underground through a stretch of Chino Hills, California's Public Utilities Commission is set to decide in July between two competing proposals: an administrative law judge says putting the lines underground would be too expensive, while the PUC's own president says the cost would be "reasonable."
The PUC approved Southern California Edison's Techachapi Renewable Transmission Project back in 2009; it's designed to bring wind energy from Kern County to the L.A. basin. But the project's been on hold for four years as Chino Hills city leaders and residents have complained that the right of way is too narrow, and that putting high-voltage transmission lines so close to residents could create unknown health impacts.
State officials shut down operations at Exide Technologies in Vernon, Calif. in April due to toxic air pollution that may pose health risks to members of the surrounding community. The plant is now open again.
The owner of a troubled lead-battery recycling plant in Vernon has filed for bankruptcy protection.
Exide Technologies reported $1.9 billion in assets and $1.1 billion in liabilities as of the end of last quarter. By entering Chapter 11, the company is likely to avoid paying off maturing bonds and payments for debt interest, both due later this year.
The state’s Department of Toxic Substances Control shuttered Exide’s Vernon plant in April. DTSC justified its suspension order two ways. First, a health risk assessment prepared by regional air officials found sharply elevated cancer risk in the surrounding areas from arsenic emissions. Second, an inspection of the stormwater system at the facility revealed gashes in underground pipes rendering the system faulty.
Exide had filed a notice of defense to challenge the DTSC’s suspension. What was supposed to be a three-day hearing last week proved more complicated than lawyers anticipated. Now the Office of Administrative Hearings is seeking to schedule and complete the hearing sometime this summer.
Metro Transportation Library & Archive/Flickr
The DWP's "feed-in tariff" program aims to encourage solar projects larger than those on typical residential homes in the LA basin by buying back energy through long-term contracts.
Six months in to the L.A. Department of Water and Power’s “feed-in tariff” program, the jury’s still out about whether the program’s working. But it’s clear the DWP’s ratepayer advocate, Fred Pickel, hasn’t exactly warmed up to the utility’s efforts to put more solar panels on big rooftops in the L.A. basin.
First, a reminder about what “feed-in tariff” is. State law requires utilities to encourage larger projects, such as on commercial rooftops and parking lots, by purchasing power from the developers and companies that set them up. So under the “feed in tariff” program, these rooftop owners feed solar onto the grid and get paid for it by the DWP in long-term contracts. Environmentalists and business lobbies alike are bullish on the prospects for such a program. Check this Los Angeles Business Council video touting its awesomeness.