Exide’s Cleanup May See Increased Funding and Assembly Member Santiago Responds

For immediate release:

(Los Angeles, CA)On Friday, Assembly Member Santiago, Legislative leaders, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC) announced the state’s effort to turn Exide into a Superfund site. This would make Exide one of the United States EPA’s “national priorities” which can open up millions of dollars to clean up of residential properties and the industrial facility polluted by Exide Technologies in Vernon, California.

“For far too long, California taxpayers have footed the bill for Exide’s pollution while our communities sat in toxic lead and children played in contaminated soil,” said Assembly Member Miguel Santiago. “Though we’ve made progress in cleaning the lead from our homes, schools, and playgrounds, we need the further support of the United States EPA to totally and completely clean our communities.”

Exide operated under a temporary permit for 33 years, causing mass contamination in the surrounding communities. The California Legislature has delivered more than half a billion dollars to the cleanup. Additional funding to fully remediate the contaminated areas will be critical to fixing this catastrophic environmental injustice. Declaring the Exide facility as a Superfund site will allow for the United States Environmental Protection Agency to use some funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to clean up the facility itself and the surrounding homes. The state has already pledged over $700 million to the cleanup, but will likely need additional funding to fully remediate the contaminated areas.

Assembly Member Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization and the Assembly Select Committee on Los Angeles County Homelessness. He also sits on the Assembly Committee on Health, Public Safety, Higher Education and Utilities and Energy. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.