Testing Around Exide Plant Continues, Community Voices Frustration over Lack of Clarity in Results
By Sahra Sulaiman, http://la.streetsblog.org/
“I still don’t have a clear picture of what the results [of the lead testing in the Expanded Assessment Areas] are,” said a representative of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard.
We were now nearly two hours into a community workshop explicitly intended to brief residents on the extent to which lead emissions from Exide Technologies’ secondary smelting operations may have contaminated properties found within the Expanded Assessment Areas (see explanation, at left). And a number of stakeholders had met one-on-one with representatives of the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and L.A. County Department of Public Health (DPH) in the two hours prior to the meeting to get the specific results of testing done on their property.
Having tracked Exide’s many air quality standards violationsover the years and watched family members and friends suffer from the kinds of issues that run rampant in environmental justice (EJ) communities — asthma, cancer, developmental delays, etc. — residents were frustrated. Even as they celebrated the pending closure and dismantling of the battery recycler that they had battled for so long, they were still looking for definitive answers about what Exide had done to their community while it operated for 15 years under a temporary permit and with minimal oversight.
But the science doesn’t always comply with people’s wishes.
“[DTSC] can’t make sense of the data,” head of permitting Rizgar Ghazi acknowledged. “There is no defined pattern” to the contamination discovered. Read more