LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis released the following statement after Governor Gavin Newsom announced a $454 million dollar budget proposal to address environmental injustices caused by Exide.
“The allocation of $454.4 million to address the Exide clean-up is an unprecedented action in our fight against Exide Technologies (Exide) and other corporations that have historically committed environmental injustices that have long-term health ramifications, particularly among communities of color.
Although this is a monumental win for our communities, this does not absolve Exide from accountability. Last fall, a decision by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court allowed Exide to walk away from its shuttered battery recycling facility in the City of Vernon, absolving Exide from all wrongdoing and leaving the State of California and its taxpayers to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up decades of lead and other toxic contamination deposited in the surrounding neighborhoods. This court ruling continues to plague the communities of Bell, Boyle Heights, Commerce, East LA, Huntington Park, and Maywood, where the residents are primarily working-class Latinos, and is a result of the previous administration’s unwillingness and failure to hold polluters accountable.
Because Exide was allowed to walk away from the damage it caused, taxpayers are having to foot the bill for a clean-up that Exide is responsible for. I highly commend Governor Gavin Newsom and our state legislature for taking action to invest in the environmental clean-up of the toxic chemicals Exide polluted our communities in the First District.
Protecting the health and well-being of the communities, I so proudly represent in the First District is of paramount importance to me and is one of my top priorities as Chair of the Board of Supervisors. I will continue to advocate alongside our communities who have faced environmental injustices for far too long and remain committed to holding organizations like Exide that pollute communities accountable.”
Kimberly Ortega, Acting Communications Director, (213) 361-6435 or KOrtega@bos.lacounty.gov
Stephany Villaseñor, Communications Deputy, (213) 308-9017 or SVillasenor@bos.lacounty.gov