EXIDE VERNON: U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez calls attention to Exide’s serious contamination of predominantly Latino Vernon and Southeast Los Angeles communities with lead and other toxins
NEWS RELEASE – U.S. Rep Loretta Sanchez
REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ CALLS ATTENTION TO EXIDE POISONING VERNON & SOUTHEAST LOS ANGELES COMMUNITIES
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-46) called attention to the toxic contamination produced by the Exide Technologies recycling plant and its damaging effects on the health of the people of Vernon and surrounding Southeast Los Angeles communities. Last year, California toxic officials warned that those communities may be contaminated with unsafe high levels of lead.
“Communities in Vernon and the surrounding areas are dealing with the aftermath of years of toxic contamination by a now-closed lead-acid battery recycling plant,” said Rep. Sanchez. “Exide Technologies operated for years in the city of Vernon, even though multiple violations were documented by inspectors since the late 90s and faced few punitive measures.”
“Ultimately, who paid the price? The contaminated areas can be cleaned up, but these communities, mostly composed of working-class Mexican-Americans, now have to deal with the long-term health effects of being exposed,” said Rep. Sanchez.
“Time and time again, when infrastructure fails or when corporations violate the rules, it’s the most vulnerable communities who suffer the most,” said Rep. Sanchez.
Last month, Governor Jerry Brown proposed a funding package to test and clean exposed properties surrounding the Exide plant. Rep. Sanchez commended the communities, organizations, and activists who fought hard to bring this disastrous contamination to attention.
“I want to remind my colleagues, that if we are not vigilant, we will continue to see more Vernons and Flints,” said Rep. Sanchez. “This is inexcusable. We owe it to our communities to do better.”
Rep. Sanchez’s entire floor speech can be viewed HERE.
Rep. Sanchez continues to fight to clean up toxic waste sites and improve water quality to protect and enhance the health of our communities and environment. In February, Rep. Sanchez sent a letter to the Administration about the recent catastrophic leak near Porter Ranch, urging immediate action and federal oversight to protect Californians’ health and safety, and to prevent any future disastrous natural gas leaks.
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is proud to represent California’s 46th Congressional District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Santa Ana, and parts of the cities of Garden Grove and Orange in Orange County. She serves as a senior member on the Committee on Homeland Security and the House Armed Services Committee, and as Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces.