Residents dump bags of dirt at federal courthouse to protest Exide’s plan to abandon contaminated Vernon battery plant

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Protesters left bags of lead-contaminated dirt in downtown L.A. on Oct. 19, 2020, during a demonstration against a court ruling allowing owners of the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon to abandon the facility, leaving the cleanup to California taxpayers. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Protesters left bags of lead-contaminated dirt in downtown L.A. on Oct. 19, 2020, during a demonstration against a court ruling allowing owners of the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon to abandon the facility, leaving the cleanup to California taxpayers. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Residents of the massive cleanup zone surrounding the shuttered Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon marched to downtown Los Angeles on Monday evening to protest a bankruptcy court’s decision to allow the company to abandon the heavily contaminated site.

Some brought plastic bags of dirt from lead-polluted yards, throwing them over a fence onto the steps of the federal courthouse at North Main and West Temple streets.

“These are donations from the Exide-impacted area,” said Mark Lopez, co-director of East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, which organized the protest.

The demonstration drew about 150 people, many of them from southeast Los Angeles County communities riddled with lead contamination from decades of air pollution from the closed Exide Technologies facility.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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