L.A. Board of Supervisors moves to close Exide battery plant

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The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted today to explore legal options to shut down the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon.

Supervisor Gloria Molina held a news conference before the vote to say she and community members are fed up with asking Governor Jerry Brown for help and being ignored.

Community activists say the plant has been contaminating nearby East L.A. neighborhoods for decades. The Department of Toxic Substances Control, or DTSC, has found battery acid leaking from trailers onsite and lead toxicity in the surrounding soil. The plant has been operating on a temporary permit for 33 years.

Last week the DTSC ordered Exide to set aside $38 million to cover the cost of closing the plant if the company fails to stop contamination and $9 million for cleanup.

County lawyers will report back to the Supervisory Board next week on their legal options to shutter the plant and force Exide to clean up the contamination.

Phoenix Tso contributed to this report.