Frisco Plant Fails Federal Standards, Citizen Group Wants It Gone

By Jack Fink, CBS 11 News

FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – A new citizen’s group is targeting a battery recycling plant that is emitting lead into the air.

Exide Technologies has operated a plant near the Dallas North Tollway north of Stonebrook Parkway since 1965.

About a one square mile area around the facility is one of 16 across the country that fails to meet federal air quality standards for lead emission.

Former Councilwoman Joy West co-founded the Get The Lead Out Frisco Colation with the mayor’s wife, Val Maso.

“Our goal is to have Exide pack up and leave,” West said.

Last week, they mailed 5,000 petitions to homeowners and say that 600 of those have already been signed.

“Children are the root of our community and if there is a safety hazard that needs to be addressed, we just felt like it was the time to address it,” West said.

Richard Anzaldua has lived near Exide Technologies’ battery recycling plant in Frisco for the past 18 years. He said he is concerned in light of the recent reports.

“The city should do something about it and move the company out,” he said.

Research has shown even low levels of lead can cause developmental problems for children and health problems for adults.

A new bill by Texas Sen. Florence Shapiro (R – Plano) would require Exide to conduct a health risk assessment, install the latest and best technology to reduce lead emissions and allow public access to data from air monitors.

An Exide spokeswoman said the company opposes the bill.

“It’s just an undue regulatory burden on us going forward because our industry is already heavily regulated,” said company spokeswoman Susan Jaramillo.

The plant has been shut down for the past three weeks. Exide said it is in the process of making a variety of improvements to reduce the lead it emits into the air.

Exide said it’s spending up to $20 million to cut lead emissions by 90 percent by November of 2012.

To West and others, however, that isn’t good enough. Late last month, the state conducted blood tests for concerned residents.

The city said the results will be released in 60 to 90 days. Exide has also offered free blood tests as well.

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  • FriscoGuy2034

    So Exide has operated the plant since 1965. Now all the homeowners that built/bought houses around it (with full knowledge of what it was) want the plant gone? If you didn’t want to live next to it, you should NOT of built/bought a house next to it. That was your own stupidity…not Exide’s. That’s like building a house next to a waste water treatment plant and then complaining about the smell?!?!? I hope the plant gets to stay right where is been for the last 46 years. If you don’t like it…move. They were there first.

    • Janie Monares

      I bought a home in Frisco over a month ago and DID NOT KNOW this plant was even here until a week after we moved in and my neighbors made us aware of it. So no, we’re not stupid, we never knew the lead infested plant existed! Regardless if people bought their home knowing Exide was there or not, Exide should still maintain the PROPER regulations to operate their plant. Now if I knew about this disgusting plant before purchasing a home, I never would have bought my home in Frisco. Now I’m stuck!

    • Sydney

      Got to agree with FriscoGuy,
      If you don’t like whats in a neighborhood, don’t move there and then tell them to leave.
      on the other hand, the fracking for gas in Lewisville neighborhoods borders on criminal because those of us on well water were given no notice or input…unless you consider tiny signs set off the road in the weeds near our homes. We never knew it was our neighborhood getting the shaft until the wells and toxic waste dump started getting built. The City of Lewisville, said in a press release after this started our community of 500 homes was an “uninhabited” area of Lewisville, so I guess they didn’t need to tell us.
      The battery plant, however, if you moved in next to it of your own free will then shut the heck up.

      • jag

        Nonsense. If Texas had the guts to enforce laws that protected the environment than there would be no need to worry about the plants in a neighborhood. This should not even be a problem, but we are so busy catering to business, we forget people. What you wrote was nonsense. The plant should be shut down, not moved. It is a health hazard.

    • Smulnx

      Seriously FriscoGuy… You must not live in Frisco or have a family. The plant was built in 1965 out in the country for a reason.. To stay away from homes and people. Our city has grown and it is time to move this industrial facility out of a residential area. Thanks to regulations and research, we NOW KNOW what we thought was SAFE, is NOT anymore. Hey, the nuclear reactor in Japan needs help to stop radiation from leaking into the water and people, you interested in volunteering!!!

      • Friscoguy2034

        Yes. Seriously. It was in the country. Then homes were built around it. So why should it have to move? What do you not understand? You are being played in a political pawn game. Nothing less. It’s about property and money. Safety has nothing to do with it.

      • Tom

        If y’all want it moved, cool, fair enough, pay for it.

        Defn “Pay for it” – simple
        * compensation for moving employees/buyouts for employees that can’t move
        * decontamination of land for future use.
        * purchase of new land for plant.
        * moving equipment.
        * loss of business during the move.
        (and I am sure there are a dozens of things I can not think of)

        And if you want to just get rid of the plant, simple, stop using Led Acid batteries in your car, UPS, Emergency lights, backup system for your Verizon fios box, and so on.

        Reminds me of the fine people in Bramton, Ontario. Toronto International Airport existed and was busy before they Bramton had 1000 residents. Now over the last 10 years they want the airport to reduce, if not eliminate most operations. How could you not notice the large white things flying over your head when you bought the house!

  • Planoguy202202

    FriscoGuy – I understand your sentiment but really, how many people conduct a survey of the area around their house for polluters before they buy it? Be honest – did YOU do that when you bought your house? Really? If not, then you can’t really expect other people to do the same. People buying residential property have an expectation that their is some minimal level of safety in a residential neighborhood. The issue isn’t that people bought poorly, its that Exide isn’t meeting the federal safety laws.

  • dobbie

    I agree with Planoguy;the plany not meeting safety regs. isss the issue and they should be zoned out to the rural areas or mee them and work with the neighborhood.

  • Redbeard

    I agree with FriiscoGuy. This business has been established long before the new era of Frisco leaders came to power and decided to expand the quaint little town it was for years. I guaranty that the developers were aware of the plant and the possible risk when they chose to develop the neighborhood, which would of been in a rural area prior. Yet they chose to build, and the council chose to grant the permit to do so. This organization is an established business that has been employing people for years, and by forcing them to move, they will be effecting the livelyhood of all the good people who have worked there all these years. I think the city would be hypocritical to force them out. The EPA standards change on a rapid basis, and it is difficult for industry to keep up with the requirements. The EPA itself is aware of this and works with industry to accomplish compliance. Ignorance on behalf of the homebuyer, in expecting reasonable safey conditions is no excuse for forcing a business. You could say the same thing about neighborhoods that have become drug infested or crime ridden in Dallas over the years. The fact is those people probably bought in a nice neighborhood at the time, not expecting these issues to occur. This plant has long been established, and the risks apparent when the developer broke ground, and the residents chose to purchase. The lack of due diligence on their part before purchasing is not the responsiblity of the Exide plant. If it was an issue, the City Council should have never allowed the permits and zoning to allow the development in the first place, but they were obviously more interested in revenue and growth then potential health risks.

    • proudliberal1947

      I would strongly disagree with you. If the plant had any integrity it would have had representatives at the local community board meetings. If they had Intestinal fortitude, they would have told the said board about what happens and requested a land purchase of a specified distance from the plant that would have acted as a buffer zone. Why is it when Developers and this is who is to blame Fail to Disclose because they do not want to hurt the bottom line Why even at this time and point in History the Developer walks free and is not held accountable. Ever go to the airport they planned and developed the neighborhoods at the same time they built the airport, anyone moving in had a standard home till the airport was completed and the full force of the flight plans were redirected.

      if anyone is held accountable it is the developer and the planning commission, the people bought the home in good faith and if they did ask the SELLING point was they have been there forever. This is money so the buyer is the Sucker and the developer and the commission are in on the fix.

    • esvb00

      I agree, and when these home owners bought these houses they had to know what was in the neighborhood. We decided not to move next to a “new” gas drilling with a so-called perfect record, right behind us and we REFUSED to buy. That was simple….All we have to do is THINK!

  • proudliberal1947

    Yeah right leave it to a Brain Dead person on the right to try and justify, the Criminal acts of the Anti American corporations. I have sold real Estate in other States and other than a Airport most people DO NOT ask about the businesses in the area unless they have been reported and talked about by the Entertainment Media. Case and point a woman I know purchased a house last year two weeks after purchasing she had to move to a Motel and now is living with Family, when the company wasn’t or didn’t think it was important to tell her the Wall board was from China and Highly contaminated, but what the hell it was a half million dollar cash sale and everyone knows money Trumps Honesty.

    If the Plant had nothing to hide it should have posted what it does and how it stands.

    • Kevin

      It’s telling that the mayor’s wife is in on the fix. Frisco simply wants the land to turn over to developers. I guarantee that if they run off Exide, they will build houses, apartments, or strip shopping center on the exact location. They’ll just get the same hypocritical, frothing politicians like Florence Shapiro to declare the area is “cleaned up” and green light development to the highest bidder. Classic government bullying is occurring here…and, the spineless, brainless creatures that inhabit Frisco follow merrily along.

      • Friscoguy2034

        I agree with Kevin. I promise you this is all about money. It’s always about money. Scare you into believing there is a horrible danger, then Frisco gets some nice new land to tax. It will always be money first and safety second, or third.

  • ryan

    yeah and layoff hundreds of employees???? sound like a great plan…. go build your house next to a dump…. the idiot in frisco think they are better then everyone else… frisco sucks

  • FriscoP1

    Frisco Guy i am 100% in agreement with you. I have lived in Frisco since 1980. I used to play baseball on the same grounds where the plant is now, and that was before all the regulations. If you are that stupid to built a house around a battery plant then that is your fault. The plant is a major factor when it comes to jobs in this community. Many people are out of work in this country. So why not just send the plant to another country and lay off hundreds of workers. This is a supid issue. If the plant is not hurting people (like the test show they dont) then nothing should be done.

    • Busto

      I just drove up there last week to smell the flowers, and I’m still here and don’t feel sick at all. What’s the problem? TRUMP 2012 !

  • Joe Pearcy

    Frisco citizens health is no match for strategic campaign contributions from Exide to politicians. Ask Smokey Joe Barton.

  • les

    i just read this story and comments . if people are so concerned ,then they should condemn all property within 1/2 miles from the plant and make people move and shut down buisness’s !! this should happen withen 30 day ‘ s . i bet the plant wouldn’t look so bad then!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • George

    jag has it right and it has been the story of Texas for decades – cater to business. One way to improve the situation at Frisco plant
    (and other sites), mandate the execs/managers live near the site. Oddly enough in many cases, the problem somehow solves itself? Rent a copy of “Gasland” if want to see the dangerous, unintended consequences of “fracking” for gas.

  • Native Texan

    I say if you moved to Frisco in the past ten years pack your bags and move back to where you came from, And take pizza hut park with you, This town was built on railroad not some third world country sport!

  • pinhead1

    What nobody is telling you in this big media story is the EPA has resently lowered the emission limits for lead by 10X. This plant has been in compliance for years, I know I tested it. If anyone should be blamed it’s the idiots in Whashington who told you it was safe, now, ehh,it’s not.

  • yourpointis

    Way to go Exide don’t give in to these whinners and the EPA it’s about time
    someone stands up to these mindless robots who are but a handful. And
    basically tell them NO!!!! we’re not going to take it anymore, not listening
    to you, You guys are the job creators and if the rest of you don’t like it
    then Move else where!!!!!!!!!

  • Donald K Day

    The responsibility for compliance lies with Exide. This is old news in the corporate world. Polluters know if they are in compliance and wait until necessity forces them to meet standards. GE, Ford, GM, UCC, Cargill, Boeing, Apple, Southern, AEP, Chevron etc. all know that they’re polluting. Corrections occur when they’re taken to court. How many Exide plants are there domestically?

    Being there first is not equivalent to permission to pollute. Better to ask why Texas hasn’t required Exide to make corrections.

  • fred

    I need my own house and a stable job. So…. I can work at the plant, take your job and your house. You go to the unemployment line, and I will take your spot.

  • Busto

    I just drove up there a week ago to smell fresh air and flowers, and I’m still here and don’t feel sick a bit. What’s the problem? TRUMP 2012 !

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