Toxics regulators tried to suspend operations at Exide Technologies in Vernon, Calif. in April because of arsenic emissions. Now air regulators have ordered Exide to cut production 15% as a result of lead emissions.
Regulators have ordered the troubled Exide battery recycling facility in Vernon to cut production after an air monitor near the site found unusually high levels of lead in emissions coming from the plant.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District announced the development on its website.
The air monitor found that emissions from the plant at 2700 S. Indiana St. exceeded the 30-day standard for lead during the period ending Sept. 9.
As a consequence, Exide has cut production by 15 percent. The company must now monitor lead emissions on a daily, not monthly, basis.
The AQMD is developing a rule specifically to control lead and other toxic emissions from large battery recycling facilities. Only two plants west of the Mississippi recycle batteries. The South Coast AQMD regulates both.
Young corn plants grow next to the Guardian Energy ethanol plant in Janesville, Minn. Ethanol producers outside of California say the state's low-carbon fuel standard discriminates against them unfairly. A federal appellate court Wednesday upheld California's efforts to cut carbon emissions from fuels.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld California’s low-carbon fuel standard, a program expected to be a key part of the state’s efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The decision could aid California’s efforts to create an alternative fuel industry.
The California Air Resources Board adopted the standard four years ago. It includes a “life cycle” analysis for a fuel’s “carbon intensity.” It takes into account carbon emissions generated during a fuel’s production and transportation to market -- along with those created during its combustion.
Makers of fuels with lower "carbon intensity" scores, like biofuels, will get pollution credits they can sell to producers of more carbon-intense fuels like petroleum. The credits can be used to lower a fuel producer's yearly pollution totals below the threshold mandated by the "cap and trade" program established by AB32. That's the California’s law mandating the reduction of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by the year 2020.
At Resurrection Church in Boyle Heights, September 9, 2013, people and politicians from east LA and surrounding cities talked about how to pressure Exide Technologies to operate more safely in Vernon.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health says it will offer blood testing for lead -- a direct consequence of community concerns about toxic pollution from Exide Technologies, a battery recycling plant in Vernon.
The idea is to calm concerns in neighborhoods around the facility. But public statements from health officials and the state’s Department of Toxic Substances Control are raising questions about the testing and who will pay for them.
Exide Technologies has spent most of the year in trouble with air and toxics regulators, its creditors and people living in nearby Huntington Park, Maywood, Boyle Heights and other parts of east L.A.
A study by the South Coast Air Quality District released in March found an elevated cancer risk from arsenic emissions for people working in the immediate area and for those living in a wider radius around the plant.
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A new fracking law won't satisfy some environmental groups who have been pushing Gov. Jerry Brown for a moratorium. State Senator Fran Pavley originally supported a ban, but went on to author a controversial piece of legislation that adds some disclosure requirements but may be vulnerable to abuse, according to lawyers familiar with CEQA, the state’s environmental quality act.
California lawmakers have sent legislation to the governor's desk that would enact the tightest rules in the nation on fracking, the controversial oil extraction practice.
Hydraulic fracturing -- a process that shoots water, sand and chemicals into rock formations to force petroleum out -- has been happening in California for a while. So Agoura Hills State Senator Fran Pavley found it alarming how little state regulators knew about the process when she asked them about it during a hearing.
"This agency, DOGGR. The Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal recovery, they could not tell me where the wells were being fracked," Pavley says. "They could not tell me what chemicals were being used, how much water was used. The response was, 'I don't know, we don't keep records.'"
Not anymore to the dismay of the Western States Petroleum Association. WSPA has spent more than 2 million dollars lobbying Sacramento this year, more than any other group. It released a statement that the legislation "could make it difficult for California to reap the enormous benefits offered by development of the Monterey Shale formation in the San Joaquin Valley." WSPA says the benefits include "thousands of new jobs, increased tax revenues and higher incomes for residents of one of the poorest regions in the nation."
A Southern California Edison sign outside the San Onofre Nuclear Plant.
Sacramento lawmakers are nearing final approval on a wide-ranging bill that would change how energy rates are set for California’s privately owned utilities. It would also likely save people in places like the Inland Empire some money.
The original idea of AB 327 was to protect the little guy: Fresno assemblyman Henry Perea, an author of the measure, says low and middle income customers are feeling the pinch of a 12-year-old problem.
"Right after the energy crisis the legislature decided that ratemaking should be done in the legislature rather than the PUC," Perea says.
The PUC, or Public Utilities Commission, has had limited authority since 2001 to boost basic rates. Greenlining Institute’s Stephanie Chen, an advocate for low-income communities, says that has created long-term problems nobody planned for.