Frisco Residents Continue To Protest Battery Recycling Plant Exide

By Selena Hernandez, CBS 11 News

FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – Residents who arrived to protest battery-recycling plant Exide Technologies Monday don’t just want clean air; they want the reported root of the problem to go away.

“Boo! Exide get out of Frisco! Boo! Exide – we don’t want you here!”

At just 4-years old, Eli Johnson is already trying to use his voice for change. On Monday, Eli’s mother brought him and his brother to support efforts to close the battery recycling plant.

“They’re so close to the high school, the police department, my son’s daycare is right there – it’s very frightening,” Eli’s mom, Neala Johnson said.

A nearly one and a half mile radius around the plant is one of just 16 areas in the nation that does not comply with federal air quality standards for lead emissions.

Exide and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality reached an agreement to reduce lead levels and bring the plant into compliance. But just last month, the EPA found that plan unacceptable and demanded changes to make it enforceable.

“We’re just trying to gain awareness have the city council aware of our citizen’s concerns on the negative impact on Frisco,” Eileen Canavan with Frisco Unleaded said.

The group Frisco Unleaded is now trying to gather more than 2,000 pounds of canned food donations. Organizers say that represents the reported 2,000-plus pounds of lead Exide emits every year.

“It does build up – the lead does build up – in our ground soil, so we’re pretty concerned about it,” Canavan said.

Frisco Mayor Maher Maso said those concerns are being acknowledged.

“We have heard about those concerns and continue to work with the EPA and TECQ and strongly let them know about those concerns, and if this plant remains here, it needs to be the cleanest operating plant, period,” Maso said.

An Exide spokesperson said the plant continues to reduce its emissions to meet the November 2012 deadline set by the EPA. Meanwhile, the donated food will benefit a Frisco shelter.

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  • Leroy

    My question is how many of the people protesting lived their before Exide? How many moved to the area knowing their was a lead recycling facility nearby? Educate yourself before moving into an area.

  • Frisco Neighbor

    These homeowners are probably the same good Republicans that hate the EPA. why should people at Exide lose their jobs just because the homeowners bought in an area that has this recycling plant. Better government regulations on where homes are built would have prevented this problem but we all know how some people hate regulation even when it once again is in their best interest.

  • PlanoTexan

    I want to know who was there first, the battery plant or the school and homes? If what was already there when you bought your hone, then shame on you.

  • Flower Mound Resident

    What I have learned is that Exide has been there for many years and has donated land to the county. This company has been a major contributor to Frisco and now a few people are protesting. Look’s like a bum rap for Exide. If the few do force Exide out I think Frisco will be the looser in the end.

  • FriscoGuy

    Frisco Drivers emit over 200,000 tons of poisonous emissions from their vehicles a year. I don’t see any of you getting rid of your car, truck, or SUV. Don’t like the plant, you shouldn’t of moved next to it.

    • Brown Bess

      200,000 thousand tons? I don’t think so. Where did you get that factoid, Exide?
      They certainly didn’t put 80,000 pounds of lead in the air like Exide, and they didn’t bury 9 million pounds of lead like Exide.

      • FriscoGuy

        EPA data and population records, just do the math. You certainly believe the EPA report when it goes in your favor. Your dismissive attitude doesn’t make it any less reliable, or any less true. Vehicles pollute the air we breath, and we accept that as an acceptable risk, and the fact is…they pollute more than that Exide plant ever will. But you don’t want to hear that you are part of the problem, you just want to bury your head in the sand and blame someone else.

  • jen

    The surprising thing that I have learned is that most people don’t even know that the plant is there. When I worked at a hospital in Frisco and asked some of the residents about the Exide plant they were dumb founded. I understand that people need to educate themselves, however, when the plant was built the area was mostly farmland. I don’t think any realtor comes out and says there is a plant up the street that is emitting lead into the air that you’re breathing.
    I agree with a previous comment that the government should have regulated what was being built around the plant. It is a losing situation for everyone. No one wants to close down a business, but I don’t think people should have their health jeopardized in the name of commerce. I don’t care how much property the business donated.

  • darrell

    that plant was built there in the 1960’s. back when frisco didnt qualify to be on a map. for all of you people who in your infinite wisdom purchased a home next to it. suck it up. its your fault. for the FISD who was irresponsible enough to build a school near it. your continued incompetence is a shining example of the overall leadership of your community. people this stupid shouldnt be allowed to reproduce. if we are lucky their children will be sterile and this line of genetic failures will fade away.

  • Borwn Bess

    What nice people you all are. Of course they didn’t know about it – you think a realtor is going to say something about a lead smelter? you think the chamber is going to advertize that fact? Now there are 120,000 people, 40% of them school-aged children who live there. I guess all you nimrods would risk their health just to prove a point to their parents Great humanitarians. The middle of town is no place for a smelter.

    • re: Brown B

      Nimrods??? I think you hear that word a lot. Your right, the middle of a town is not the place for a smelter. That’s why when it was built, it was built in the middle of a field far away from any town. If the CoC and the Realtors purposely did not disclose that information, then they should be held accountable. Not Exide.

      • Casperia

        The Exide plant has always been in the Frisco City limits, not “far away from any town”. Main Street has always been where it is now, less than a half mile from the plant.

        Yes, the plant was buitl in the eary ’60’s when the dangers of lead emissions were still basically unknown. However, the evolving knowledge regarding the hazards of lead emissions in the air, water and gound show that such a plant location is no longer appropriate. The City has the means to put shut Exide down, while letting them operate until their investment in buildings has been recovered.

        Exide will still own the land -which they will have to clean up. After its been cleaned they would be free to sell it.

  • Casperia

    Re: Mayor Maso’s latest statement: “…Exide needs to be the cleanest plant in the country if it stays…”

    The sad fact is that the even with the second attempt at getting an agreement between Exide and the TCEQ the result will be Exide’s barely meeting the new EPA requirement for lead emissions, .15. A California plant’s lead emissions with WESP technology is far below Exide’s numbers. The Mayor’s statement about Exide being the” cleanest” plant is clearly not possible right now. And, the Mayor says “if it stays”. The Frisco City Council controls completely whether the plant stays or leaves. It has the means right now to make sure the plant leaves after it recovers its investments in its structures. Why is the Mayor and the Council continuing to refer to the TCEQ and EPA actions as though those entities were in control of the issue of leaving or staying? The TCEQ and the EPA have NO CONTROL over the plant other than compliance with their rules. The Mayor and the Council are either being deliberately disingenous or perhaps their legal advice is woefully inadequate.

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