► Report on the Impact of Exide Site on Property Values in Frisco, released December 10th, 2013:
► Thanks in large part to the work of Frisco Unleaded and Downwinders at Risk, on June 4th 2012, the Frisco City Council voted unanimously to approve an agreement with Exide that has the last lead smelter in Texas closing by the end of 2012 in exchange for the city buying over 100 acres of Exide property that surrounds the smelter for $45 million. Details about the proposed clean-up of the city-purchased property as well as the smelter itself are still emerging. Of particular concern are the closed smelter landfills located in the Stewart Creek floodplain and the current landfill that appears to have illegal hazardous waste in it. Frisco Unleaded and Downwinders at Risk will be monitoring the clean-up of the Exide smelter property towards the goal of making it both safe and productive.
There is no safe level of exposure to lead, especially for children, who can have their nervous systems permanently damaged by even small amounts in their bodies. Just the amount of lead that can accumulate on a windowsill is enough to trigger developmental and behavioral problems in children. Research shows that even levels of lead previously considered “safe” can cause decreased academic performance and cognitive function, increased incidence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and problem behaviors, delayed puberty, reduced growth, decreased IQ, and decreased hearing in children, as well as increased blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in adults.
Downwinders at Risk had experience with lead air pollution from its years of opposition to burning lead-containing hazardous waste at the Midlothian cement plants and offering support to West Dallas residents who were battling to clean-up the waste left behind by the RSR lead smelter in the early and mid-1990's. But we hadn't taken on a smelter ourselves.
That changed in July of 2011, when Downwinders accepted an invitation by Frisco residents to help them close the almost 50 year-old Exide lead smelter. The new group “Frisco Unleaded” was born.
Downwinders is acting as a sponsor, resource clearinghouse, and experienced guide to the group, whose members believe the smelter is fundamentally incompatible with modern Frisco and the surrounding land uses, including schools and parks.
Operating in the middle of America’s “fastest growing city,” the Exide smelter has created DFW’s second non-attainment area by violating federal ambient air pollution standards for the toxic metal. Frisco is one of only 22 areas in America that doesn’t those standards for lead pollution.
During a single state inspection in 2011, Exide racked-up 43 violations including: unauthorized hazardous waste discharges into Stewart Creek, unauthorized releases of hazardous wastes, operating an unauthorized hazardous waste pile, burying hazardous waste without a permit, and not having a waste analysis plan. It's reported the presence of at least nine million pounds of lead waste on-site in just one landfill. The middle of downtown Frisco is not an appropriate place for a lead smelter or the waste it generates.
Downwinders at Risk and Frisco Unleaded are committed to seeing the relocation of the smelter, and a complete clean-up of the Exide property. For more information: