BREAKING NEWS: EXIDE VERNON – With conditions, court grants preliminary injunction for operations temporarily until administrative hearings can be scheduled for continuation, completion
With conditions, the Los Angeles Superior Court yesterday granted Exide a preliminary injunction, allowing the company to temporarily continue operations at its troubled Vernon, CA, lead smelter until administrative hearings before Administrative Law Judge Julie Cabos-Owen can be scheduled for continuation and completion.
The court granted the preliminary injunction under the conditions that the company updates its storm water piping system and conduct source testing to confirm emission reductions, the order said.
In a statement, the California Department of Toxic Substance Control said:
“We are disappointed with the judge’s ruling, but are pleased the judge saw fit to impose conditions that were the subject of our suspension.”
NBC LOS ANGELES
Judge Rules Exide Recycling Plant Can Continue Operations
A judge ruled Tuesday that Exide Technologies’ battery recycling plant in Vernon can continue its operations as long as their emissions don’t exceed the state standard. Boyle Heights residents and county officials are vowing to find a way to shut them down. John Cádiz Klemack reports from Vernon for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 2, 2013.
Exide to Stay Open During Hearing Process
By City News Service
A battery recycling plant in Vernon that was temporarily shut down by state environmental officials can remain open while administrative hearings about the company’s operation continue, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled on Tuesday.
The Exide Technologies plant was shut down April 24 in response to an order from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, citing health risks from arsenic emissions.
The company, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of lead-acid batteries, then filed for bankruptcy protection, saying it needed the supply of lead from the recycling plant to maintain its profitability.
On June 16, citing irreparable harm to the company, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin ruled that the plant could reopen. At a follow-up hearing on Tuesday, Lavin issued a preliminary injunction, upholding the initial ruling and allowing the plant to continue operating – noting that the company had made reductions in pollution generated at the facility.
The company employs about 130 people at the Vernon facility.
Some residents and elected officials representing the surrounding area have blasted the operation, contending it put people’s health at risk.
Last month, the county Board of Supervisors instructed its attorneys to prepare a report on legal steps the county could take in an effort to prevent toxic emissions from the plant.
Supervisor Gloria Molina, who led the effort, said the county will continue pushing to ensure that pollution from the plant is controlled.
“I recognize Exide’s due process rights, however, Exide has failed to comply with its obligations to operate a safe facility,” Molina said.
“Today’s ruling isn’t the end of the story – we will ensure that the regulatory agencies maintain their vigilance, and to protect the public’s health and safety, we will continue to explore all of our legal options,” she said. “It is my hope that as administrative actions continue, the authorities will uphold their order to shut down Exide for good.”
The company, which says it has reduced emissions by more than 70 percent since 2010, plans to work with the community to resolve the issue, according to an Exide statement issued last month.
The agency ordered Exide to find ways to reduce that risk, suggested installing wet electrostatic precipitators and set a deadline of Sept. 1 for a report back.