Clean-up of Exide lead smelter site, Clean-up of Frisco Exide lead smelter site, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Lastest News, TCEQ

EXIDE FRISCO – Frisco City Council to hold public hearing at 2 p.m. June 2 regarding TCEQ request to EPA to remove Nonattainment Area for Lead designation from 1.28 mile area surrounding Exide lead smelter; Public comments accepted by TCEQ through June 3

State regulators OK plan to declare air clean around Frisco’s Exide plant

This aerial shows what's left of the Exide Technologies plant in Frisco in February. (G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News)

This aerial shows what’s left of the Exide Technologies plant in Frisco in February. (G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News)

Frisco is one step closer to having the area around the closed Exide Technologies plant back in compliance with the federal air-quality standard for lead.

On Wednesday, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality approved moving forward with a request to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to remove a “nonattainment area” designation put in place in 2010 because of high lead emissions. The vote also includes a proposed maintenance plan to ensure compliance of the lead standard through 2028.

Frisco’s nonattainment area for lead encompasses a 1.28-square-mile around the plant. It’s the only one in Texas and one of only 21 in the nation. The designation was triggered after the federal air-quality standard for lead was tightened tenfold in 2008, from 1.5 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air to 0.15 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air.

The Exide plant, which recycled used automotive and industrial batteries, closed in November 2012 as part of a landmark agreement with the city. Lead emissions in the area went from 1.06 tons in 2010 to zero by 2013.

Frisco Mayor Maher Maso was in Austin on Wednesday to address the commission and thank the state agency for its work to improve the city that’s seen phenomenal growth for more than a decade.

“It’s a very important part of our growth making sure our environment is protected,” Maso told the commission.

The plant opened in Frisco in the early 1960s. When Exide Technologies bought the plant in 2000, the city’s population was about 33,000. Frisco now has more than 154,000 residents and is projected to more than double that amount by the time the city is built out.

The first step toward removing the nonattainment area has been met. The four air-quality monitors around the plant have recorded consecutive 36 months of readings that meet the federal standard for lead.

With Wednesday’s vote, the request to the EPA and proposed maintenance plan move forward. EPA officials will have the final say on removing the nonattainment area. Public comments will be accepted by the state through June 3. A public hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. June 2 in the council chambers at Frisco City Hall.

Read the TCEQ documents here:

Proposal for a revised State Implementation Plan in Collin County for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Qu…

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,