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Residents Call For Permanent Shutdown Of Exide Plant At AQMD Meeting

LONG BEACH ( — Hundreds of protesters were on hand for a meeting Friday in Long Beach to demand the shutdown of a battery recycling plant blamed for contaminating a Boyle Heights neighborhood with lead.

KNX 1070's Ron Kilgore reports residents from Cudahy, Bell, Bell Gardens and other cities surrounding the Exide plant in Vernon showed up at a meeting of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) as the Board gathered determine whether Exide will be allowed to continue to operate.

Chris Garcia, the Mayor of the unincorporated city of Cudahy, said Exide setting aside $48 million to clean up the area isn't enough.

"We are done with Exide's stall tactics. We are taking action," Garcia said. "I along with hundreds of our fellow residents are taking a stand and demanding the AQMD shut down Exide once and for all."

Through an interpreter, Myrna Sanchez of Boyle Heights said she suffers cancer and wants someone to help ensure her family isn't exposed.

"I want you to help my grandchildren, they have asthma," said Sanchez. "I want you to help the town for humanity."

Exide Technologies has been cited several times for releasing too much lead into the air.

In September, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that requires the state Department of Toxic Substances to either issue a permanent permit or shut the plant down by the end of 2015.

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