In the wake of a growing lead pollution investigation in neighborhoods around the now shuttered Exide Technologies plant in Vernon, state toxics regulators have ordered a second lead battery recycler in nearby Industry to test soil outside its property for lead contamination.
The state Department of Toxic Substances Control has given Quemetco, Inc. until the end of the month to submit a schedule for testing, beginning with a half-mile radius around the facility at 720 S. Seventh St. Each day, the plant processes up to 1.2 million pounds of scrap and lead.
As with Exide, testing may eventually stretch up to a mile away from the plant if initial findings indicate the possibility of wider spread contamination.
Dot Lofstrom, a division chief overseeing cleanup programs at DTSC, said the soil testing around Quemetco comes in part because of growing pollution concerns around Exide. In August, her agency announced lead dust from the Exide may have fouled as many 10,000 homes.
Unfortunately, the article doesn’t really get into the demographics of the neighborhood. I’d be shocked if it wasn’t a poor neighborhood of color.
This also gets to the point that while we think recycling is a great thing, it’s very much a out of sight-out of mind thing and in fact the wages of recycling are really nasty for both workers and nearby residents.