EPA tells Exide its lead emissions violated federal law

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A troubled lead battery recycling facility in Vernon violated the Clean Air Act's emissions standards on more than 30 occasions, according to a notice of violation released Thursday by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  

The EPA said Exide Technologies had violated federal laws by exceeding a 30-day average of emissions of more than 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter. 

In a letter addressed to Exide CEO Robert Caruso, Director of the Enforcement Division Kathleen Johnson wrote that the violations authorize the EPA to take several actions.

You should be aware that section 1 13(a)(1) of the Act authorizes EPA to issue an order requiring compliance with the requirements of the Act, issue an administrative penalty order, or commence a civil action seeking an injunction and/or a civil penalty. Furthermore, section 113(c) of the Act provides for criminal penalties in certain cases. 

The notice also states that Exide could face a penalty of up to $37,500 per day for each violation. The facility has remained closed since March and has laid off most of its employees. 

Exide did not respond to a request for comment.

Exide has been the target of community furor since last spring when local air regulators found arsenic emissions had increased cancer risks for more than one hundred thousand people living and working nearby. The plant has been cited for numerous violations by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Earlier this year, tests showed elevated levels of lead in the soil of homes near the plant.

Notice of Violation


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