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Check-in: What’s going on with the Exide cleanup?




A soil removal, part of the Exide cleanup through the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, takes place at an East Los Angeles home on Wednesday, April 20, 2016.
A soil removal, part of the Exide cleanup through the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, takes place at an East Los Angeles home on Wednesday, April 20, 2016.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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In light of recent news about the clean up of Porter Ranch, we check in on the clean up around the former Exide battery plant.

The now-shuttered plant once called the city of Vernon home but closed its doors in April 2013 after the Department of Toxic Substances Control expressed concerns about arsenic and lead getting into the soil, water, and air surrounding the area. In 2014, new tests revealed lead found in the soil at homes nearby, putting in motion a clean up process that could take years.

In August 2015, additional testing showed that up to 10,000 properties could be facing lead contamination. It’s well-known that lead poses serious health risks, including an elevated risk of cancer and learning disabilities in children. Residents have not been pleased with the lack of swift action to clean up their neighborhoods.

What progress has been made to clean up in Vernon? Where does the process stand as of now? What challenges has the DTSC faced?

DTSC declined to join our conversation, but released this statement to AirTalk:

DTSC Statement to AirTalk

Guests:

Elizabeth Aguilera, KPCC community health reporter

Tony Barboza, L.A. Times Environment Reporter. He tweets @tonybarboza