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LA County supervisors criticize 'piecemeal' cleanup around Exide, seek money for lead testing



Exide begins to remove lead-polluted soil on Monday morning at a house on the 1200 block of La Puerta Street in Boyle Heights.
Exide begins to remove lead-polluted soil on Monday morning at a house on the 1200 block of La Puerta Street in Boyle Heights.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

All five members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have signed a letter imploring California Gov. Jerry Brown to intervene in the state’s handling of contamination around the Exide Technologies plant in Vernon.

The letter criticizing the state’s “piecemeal approach to an urgent environmental hazard” comes as workers paid for by Exide are removing lead-contaminated topsoil from two homes near the intersection of Olympic and Indiana avenues in L.A. 

Signed Tuesday, the letter asks for “guaranteed state funding to immediately begin testing” at 37 more homes also sampled, but to less specific degrees, during November 2013. In the words of the board, “further testing and remediation of the other 37 homes has not been confirmed and may not begin until at least October 2014 because Exide has not yet agreed to comply with DTSC directives issued last March.”

The supervisors also say the state has “reneged” on its commitments to test for lead inside the homes as well as outside.

The Department of Toxic Substances Control says that the two homes workers are at this week will be cleaned inside and out — even without indoor testing.  The DTSC’s Rizgar Ghazi said Monday that crews will use HEPA filters, vacuums and shampooing equipment on “basically any flat surface” inside the two residences.

Read the L.A. Board of Supervisors’ letter to Gov. Brown here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/236655733/LA-County-Supervisors-Letter-to-Gov-Brown-8-12-14