FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – Two Frisco mothers entered the U.S. Post Office this morning with a warning to executives of Exide Technologies. They plan to file a lawsuit.
“For decades Exide has violated the law,” says Megan Green with the group called Frisco Unleaded. She and Colette McCadden, who represents the group called “Downwinders at Risk” have mailed 17-page letters informing executives and state officials that a “Citizen Lawsuit” will be filed in 90 days.
The groups are demanding Exide properly clean up the property when the company closes the facility later this year. They are also asking that state regulators be more aggressive in enforcing environmental laws.
“It’s unfortunate we have to do this ourselves” says McCadden. ”Our regulatory agencies have yet to bring any kind of penalties against the Exide facility for literally decades of law-breaking.”
Last month, the Frisco City Council unanimously approved a deal that will shutter the plant. Exide will be required to stop operations by the end of the year, tear down the plant and clean the site itself.
A spokesperson for the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality says Exide has been issued a Notice of Enforcement which details violations and measures the company must take to clean up the site. Terry Clawson says the notice will have a fine attached to it.
Clawson also says Exide is in the process of drawing up a remediation plan which much be approved by TCEQ. He says the EPA is also involved.
The residents say they are not certain if contamination from the plant has affected the health of those who live in the area, but they have their suspicions.
“In my child’s lifetime we’re going to start seeing things,” says Green. “Ailments, sicknesses that are going to be an ‘ah-ha’ moment and we’re going to say they were a Frisco kid.”
McCadden believes her childrens’ problems may be the result of runoff or air pollution from the plant.
“Three of my four children who were born within five miles of the facility and lived there for 11 years have learning issues. They have attention deficit problems,” says McCadden.
Exide spokeswoman Susan Jaramillo issued the written statement below:
— Exide Technologies will continue to move forward with taking the steps agreed to between Exide and the City of Frisco at the end of May regarding the sale of land and the ultimate cessation of operations at the Frisco plant.
— We remain committed to meeting all guidelines as established by the appropriate regulatory and government agencies as we continue our day-to-day operations and move forward.