Environment & Science

$177 million for Exide cleanup signed into law

File: Exide begins to remove lead-polluted soil at a house on La Puerta Street in Boyle Heights.
File: Exide begins to remove lead-polluted soil at a house on La Puerta Street in Boyle Heights.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Legislation was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday to direct $176.6 million to help expedite and expand both testing and cleanup around the former Exide battery plant in Vernon. The money is supposed to be used to help with testing and cleanup of residential properties, schools, daycare centers and parks in the area, according to a press release from Brown's office.

The money will be used to test and clean up locations within a 1.7-mile radius of the old Exide plant, removing contaminated soil from places where lead levels are highest, according to the release.

The Brown administration had proposed putting in an exception that would have sped things up by skipping an environmental review, but after pushback from the community, a review of the cleanup is planned.

The release notes that the money to fund the cleanup is initially coming from the state, but that they are ultimately looking for Exide and any other responsible parties to pay for the cleanup.