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Exide manager gives review of demolition plans



FRISCO — Exide Technologies briefed the public Wednesday on its plans to decontaminate and demolish its Frisco lead smelter.

During a meeting attended by about three dozen people, Frisco plant manager Dave McKercher offered a tentative schedule and encouraged people to use the company’s website to ask questions, make suggestions and get more involved.

Since the plant closed Nov. 30, crews have been cleaning equipment and the insides of buildings. Hazards such as fluorescent lights with mercury and floor tiles with asbestos are being removed. Major demolition work is expected to start about Dec. 31, McKercher said. Structures will be taken apart piece by piece with hydraulic shears. The smokestacks will be set down using a crane starting about Jan. 15.

“This is not going to look like Cowboys stadium coming down,” he said, adding that no wrecking balls or explosives will be used.

Crews will take steps to minimize dust from the site and will monitor air quality in real time to ensure there are no problems.

Exide’s closure was part of an agreement that calls for the city of Frisco to buy about 180 acres of company property surrounding its plant operations for $45 million.

Once demolition is complete, McKercher said, cleanup of the city property will take about two months. Starting about May, the company will focus on any corrective actions ordered by regulatory agencies, he said.

Tension arose as some audience members tried to change the meeting format. McKercher stuck to his presentation and then invited people to chat with him individually. But Jim Schermbeck, director of the environmental group Downwinders at Risk, tried several times to get questions asked in a group format so that everyone could hear them.

Schermbeck asked about plans approved last week by the state to treat hazardous waste in the onsite landfill, which will eventually be capped and closed. McKercher said he could not immediately discuss that.

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