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Residents Throw Bags of Soil at DOJ After Battery Plant in Southeast L.A. Is Allowed To Walk Away Without Cleaning up Its Lead Pollution

[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap] crowd of about 75 concerned residents gathered to protest the DOJ’s decision to allow Exide Technologies to declare bankruptcy last night. The decision effectively relieves the people behind the former battery recycling plant company of their obligations to clean up the lead contamination they left behind in the soil around southeast Los Angeles communities. 

For two decades now, concerned residents have been trying to hold Exide accountable for their contamination in Vernon and its surrounding marginalized neighborhoods, leaving families to suffer through the health hazards posed by living in a lead-laden environment. There was also a candlelight vigil. The decision means that taxpayers will have to pay for the costly testing and clean-up process, including the residents who live on the lead-contaminated soil it left behind by of Exide. Mark Lopez, 2017 Goldman Environmental Prize Winner, spoke at the emotional gathering.

California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) sent L.A. Taco the following statement objecting to the bankruptcy ruling: “DTSC will continue to fight to hold Exide accountable by appealing this ruling.” 

Photos by Brian Feinzimer for L.A. Taco

L.A. Taco will update this story as it develops.

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