Clean up at Frisco's Exide plant location on pause

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by JOBIN PANICKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA Sports

Posted on May 9, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Updated Thursday, May 9 at 11:38 PM

FRISCO -- It’s been six months since Exide shut down its facility in Frisco. Residents at a public meeting on Thursday night saw the progress through pictures of the demolition at the former battery-recycler.

But this public meeting had a much different format than a normal town hall; consultants were staged at tables where residents could come up and ask questions.

Exide is in the process of cleaning up the waste its plant left behind, but that clean up has stalled after pilot samples taken in March by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) tested higher-than-standard levels for cadmium and lead.

“One lab says they're okay and another lab says they're not, so we're trying to work through how do you deal with conflicting data,” said one consultant.

That conflict in data didn't help restore confidence with the residents who showed up. It’s also not sitting well with Jim Schermbeck, who is with a group called Downwinders At Risk.

“It's just not a very good solution to keep this stuff on-site in a landfill that wasn't meant for hazardous waste,” Schermbeck said.

Equilla Harper is from Frisco, and she said she came away with more questions than answers. She questions whether Exide has the financially stability to carry out the clean up.

“Once [Exide] leaves, it's gone," said Harper, who is with Frisco Unleaded. "And as a community, we could possibly be left holding the financial bag."

No official comment was made at the public meeting, but Exide did provide a statement about when clean up can start again.

"We provided the info that TCEQ asked for, and we're waiting for them to tell us to move forward,” said Susan Jaramillo, a company spokesperson.

“I want it cleaned up... I don't want it treated and stay here,” Harper said.

Exide said so far the cleanup and demolition is on schedule. The project is scheduled to be finished in May of 2014.

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

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