FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – For years, some Frisco residents have been concerned about the Exide battery recycling plant in town. Now, a citizens group is ready for the city to close the plant.
Besides problems with the air quality here, the EPA and the state found potential soil and groundwater contamination at the Exide plant.
The city says its repeatedly met with the company, the state, and EPA to keep residents safe. But some critics are asking why the city hasn’t tried to shut the plant down.
A one-and-a-half mile radius around the plant doesn’t comply with federal air quality standards for lead. It is one of only 16 such areas in the entire country. And that deeply concerns Meghan Green and her family – who lives nearby.
So Green and other concerned residents have formed the group ‘Frisco Unleaded.’ “We have a common goal do something about Exide whether relocating Exide, getting Exide out, let’s do something about Exide because nothing is getting done.”
Jim Mallett also wants to close the Exide plant. He worries about his son, daughter-in-law, and grandson who live in Frisco. “My grandson is a soccer player, and he practices up here at soccer areas and I’m concerned he was exposed to this.”
Mallet has asked the city to shut the plant down through a legal process.
The city says it already zones the plant as no longer appropriate in its current location. And after the city determines the company recoups its investment in the property, it could force the plant to close.
In other words — if a company put x amount of dollars into the property — it would have a certain amount of time to recover the money it spent on its facility.
“What the process considers is the capital investment in the structures on the property and how long will it take for the company to recoup that investment,” says Attorney Jimmy Schnurr.
“Every councilman in the city of Frisco and the Mayor needs to be asked that question. Why have you let these processes you have in your hand not being used?” asks Mallett.
CBS 11 asked Frisco Mayor Maher Maso why the city hasn’t taken this option. “This is just one idea floated by an environmental group. Frankly, it’s an idea we understand and fully understood sometime back, and it’s not as clear cut as they say it is. They haven’t done the background that we have.”)
The mayor didn’t want to talk specifics about the city’s legal options for fear it would jeopardize any action the city takes.
CBS 11 emailed an Exide spokeswoman Wednesday seeking comment. The plant manager declined to be interviewed.
MORE: Exide Plant Coverage