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Environmental Activists Rally Against Chemical Pollution in Los Angeles

Community organizers demand change for facilities that emit hazardous waste. 

Community members protested the lead and arsenic emissions in the surrounding air, groundwater, and soil. An organizer with Community for a Better Environment said the group's mission is to convey to Exide they are sick of the chronic pollution. 

The facility that the group is protesting takes lead from old batteries and recycles them for use in new batteries and similar products. Residents of the surrounding area claim the emissions from these batteries might be making them sick. However, Exide Technologies says that previously completed upgrades to the facility have already achieved a plant-wide 95% reduction of arsenic emissions. According to the statement, this status has been maintained since April 2013.

The facility in Vernon has been operating on an interim permit for over three decades. For this reason, groups like Communities for a Better Environment want SB 712 to be passed. It requires companies like Exide to compy with state and federal hazardous waste laws.

Exide Technologies battery recycling facility is currently closed for upgrades and repairs. A recent test by the South Coast Air Quality Management Disctrict found lead emissions exceeding the permissible limit. Exide claims this could be due to the current construction, and said it will continually investigate the cause of the increased lead emission.

Community groups said Exide is merely one example of pollution in this state and that all chronic corperate polluters across the state must be regulated.  

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