Assemblywoman Carrillo Issues Statement on Exide Technologies’ Lead-Battery Recycling Facility Disaster

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Exide

Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo and elected officials visiting homes in East Los Ángeles contaminated with lead by the EXIDE Battery Plant. August 9, 2018

SACRAMENTO, CA –  Today, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) released a report highly critical of the investigation produced by Exide Technologies relating to their role in the contamination and cleanup of the East Los Angeles area as a result of their lead-battery recycling facility. According to DTSC, which will take control of the investigation, Exide Technologies concluded that it was not responsible for the contamination of residential areas surrounding its former facility. This report is troubling, considering a University of Southern California study found lead in the teeth of children who live within the contamination zone.

“Despite Exide Technologies’ legal obligation to fully investigate its role in the contamination of the East Los Angeles and surrounding communities, they have failed to do so and the State must now intervene to provide equity to those who were harmed by this environmental disaster,” said Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles). “It is our duty and obligation as a State to protect the well-being of all Californians, therefore we must and we will continue to work to provide justice to those affected by the Exide Technologies disaster, many of them children, as well as provide safeguard measures to ensure this never happens again in the future.” 

“Exide has a moral and legal responsibility to the children and families who live in the area affected by this contamination,” said DTSC Acting Director Meredith Williams. “Exide is once again trying to get out of performing its duty to investigate.”

In August of 2018, Assemblymember Carrillo, alongside Speaker Anthony Rendon and various legislators, convened a hearing on Exide Technologies in the community which was attended by hundreds of local residents. This year, Assemblymember Carrillo introduced Assembly Bill 1500 to allow the temporary suspension of a facility if it poses an imminent or substantial threat to the public health and safety of the local communities. This legislation is a direct result of district-focused legislation aimed at providing safeguard measures to ensure environmental disasters, such as what occurred with Exide Technologies, never happen again in the future. The bill is currently awaiting fiscal review in the Senate Committee on Appropriations. 

Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo was elected as the representative of the 51st Assembly District in December of 2017. She is a member of the Health, Appropriations, Utilities & Energy, Labor and Rules Committees. Carrillo represents the people of East Los Angeles, Northeast Los Angeles, and the neighborhoods of El Sereno, Echo Park, Lincoln Heights, Chinatown and parts of Silver Lake.