Four Years Later, State Gets Around to Issuing Clean Air Plan for Exide That Won’t Apply

by Downwinders on July 23, 2012

 

In 2008, the EPA issued a new lead-in-air standard for all U.S. lead smelters.

In 2011, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality finaly submitted its first proposed plan to meet that new standard in Frisco, Texas, host of the Exide lead smelter. It was rejected as inadequate by EPA on the same day it was submitted.

In May of 2012, the City of Frisco and Exide reached a settlement that commits the company to ceasing the operation of its Frisco smelter on December 31st, 2012.

Last week, the Texas Commission On Environmental Quality released its second plan to meet the 2008 EPA lead-in-air standard at the Exide smelter in Frisco. Its effective date is December 31st, 2014, or two years after Exide will have closed per its agreement with the City of Frisco. 

The plan and the accompanying Agreed Order doesn't incude any fines or enforcement measures that address the dozens of violations detailed by TCEQ inspectors at the Exide smelter just last year. Nor does it address the closure and adequate clean-up of the smelter once operations cease.

Between 2008 and the end of this year, Exide will have released an estimated 14,000-16,000 pounds of lead into the air in Frisco.

If you're thinking that this TCEQ planning document is irrelevant, you'd be pretty close to summarizing not only this episode, but decades of state oversight. And yes, this is why it's important to have citizens suing Exide themselves to enforce the law rather than Waiting for Godot TCEQ.

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