Group says Frisco lead plant should be shut down




Posted on May 21, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Updated Monday, May 21 at 11:20 PM

FRISCO — There were opposing viewpoints at the Frisco Police Department Monday evening.

Outside an open house, resident Megan Green told her neighbors the Exide battery recycling plant is contaminating their city.

"Truly, I feel like my kids' future is at risk,” she said, standing near the tent set up Frisco Unleaded, the group Green is a part of.

Inside the open house, there was another story being told.

"No, I don't think people in Frisco should worry,” said Carl Edlund, the EPA’s Director of Air, Waste, and Toxins.

A 1.3-square-mile portion of Frisco near the Exide plant doesn't meet federal air quality standards. There's too much lead.

Green's group wants Exide to be shut down. She and others are circulating a petition.

"I can say, 100 percent, no, it does not belong here,” she said.

The open house was organized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The TCEQ is formulating a cleanup plan for Exide and just gave the company 14 extra months — until 2015 — to comply with federal regulations.

Green’s group is furious about the extension. She believes it is taking far too long to see action.

“It does take a bit, but it is a sure process, and it is one that will result in the air being cleaner and the facility being a clean facility,” Edlund said.

He went on to say the EPA's goal is cleaning the environment — not closing businesses.

“The federal and state governments are committed to making sure that facilities are cleaned up, and are good for the environment," Edlund said. "We're not in the business of removing facilities from operation."

City government can do that — and might. There's a hearing about Exide's future in June.

Frisco's board of adjustments meets on June 18. They are beginning an amortization process. Exide could be forced out of business if the city decides it is having a negative impact on its neighborhood.