EXIDE FRISCO UPDATE: Citizen-led cleanup finds more battery chips from Exide lead smelter along Stewart Creek
Click here to see a video of some of the battery chips found in Stewart Creek.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS
These were among the battery chips found during Saturday’s cleanup along Stewart Creek. (Courtesy Frisco Unleaded)
Dozens of battery chips from operations at the closed Exide Technologies plant were found along Stewart Creek, according to results of Saturday’s Community Lead Clean-Up sponsored by the nonprofit Frisco Unleaded.
At least two of the chips were considered hazardous, with lead levels of between 3,000 and 5,000 parts per million, according to the group that had access to a portable XRF analyzer.
The city of Frisco uses a cleanup standard for lead in soil of 250 parts per million.
The presence of battery chips and waste in Stewart Creek is not new. A city survey released earlier this year showed frequent hot spots throughout the area planned for the city’s Grand Park. One piece of waste called slag found during the city survey tested at 35,200 parts per million of lead.
Slag can sometimes be confused with rocks and is more difficult to identify. But volunteers on Saturday said battery chips were frequently visible during their two-hour survey.
“It was pretty astounding, especially for someone who has read the reports,” said Jim Schermbeck of Downwinders at Risk, who participated in the cleanup. He said he now has a greater appreciation about the extent of the contamination.
Click here to see a video of some of the battery chips found in the creek.
Frisco Unleaded and other environmental groups are pushing for complete removal of the hazardous waste from in and around the plant property. The city of Frisco believes the better option is to cap the waste in landfills located on plant property. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will ultimately decide how to handle cleanup at the site in consultation with Exide and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Exide officials submitted a plan last week to state regulators to address the battery chip fragments and slag found downstream from the plant. The TCEQ is reviewing that plan. That document and others are posted here on the city’s website.
Exide will host another open house from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Frisco Heritage Center, 6499 Page St. Company representatives and technical consultants will be on hand to answer questions about progress of the cleanup at the Frisco site.