Citizens group collects 1,500-plus cans to spotlight concerns about Exide
The group collected more than 1,500 cans to donate to the food pantry at the nonprofit Frisco Family Services. The amount fell short of the goal to collect 2,000 cans – one can for every pound of toxic lead emitted by the plant last year. But educating people about the issues more than made up for the shortage, group members said.
“It was like a city awakening,” Frisco resident Eileen Canavan said.
She said she heard a lot of personal stories during the week from residents concerned about potential risks from the plant. She also talked to people who disagreed with the group’s efforts to get the company to close up shop.
The company, which employs about 130 people in Frisco, has been located near downtown since the mid-1960s, long before most of the current residents moved in. Company officials are in the process of making $20 million in upgrades at the plant to reduce lead emissions. And they have a proposal pending with the EPA to conduct tests to determine the extent of contamination in the soil, water and groundwater on and around the plant.
Meghan Green came up with the idea to hold the canned food drive during National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. She said spreading information is a good thing. “To be informed is not going to hurt our property values,” she said. “We have a lead smelter in our town.”
The public is invited to the Frisco Unleaded group’s next meeting, which will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 8 in the fourth-floor meeting room at the Frisco city hall.