Environmentalists Hope to Force Battery Recycler to Move

City Council to hear appeal of zoning petition

By Catherine Ross
|  Monday, Jan 16, 2012  |  Updated 8:07 PM CDT
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People continue to fight to keep Exide Technologies from continuing to operate in Frisco and tomorrow night the city council will discuss several items relating to the battery plant.

Catherine Ross, Frisco Reporter

People continue to fight to keep Exide Technologies from continuing to operate in Frisco and tomorrow night the city council will discuss several items relating to the battery plant.

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Environmentalists say items on the Frisco City Council's agenda could be the beginning of the end for a controversial recycling plant.

The council will consider asking the Board of Adjustment to establish a compliance date for "the nonconforming use(s) located at" Exide Technologies Inc.

Jim Schermbeck, director of air quality group Downwinders at Risk, said approval of the item would be the first step toward a series of votes and meetings that could force the battery recycler relocate.

"That signals the beginning of that process," he said. "[It] gives them permission to do sort of a forced buyout of the plant."

Environmental advocates have been working with Frisco residents for several months to get the battery recycler to move over pollution concerns.

"It's a vindication of the last six or seven months of citizen efforts to try to convince the city this is what should have been done," Schermbeck said.

But Exide Technologies said it has long been a good neighbor and major employer in the area. The company says it is actively working to reduce emissions.

The battery plant originally opened in 1964. Exide took over the facility in 2000 to recycle old car batteries.

The City Council also will look at Exide's appeal of the Planning and Zoning Commission's rejection of its vested rights petition last month and consider retaining legal counsel over the matter.

The battery recycler had asked that building permits be considered under the city ordinances that were in place when the facility was built in the 1960s, the Dallas Morning News reported.

The zoning commission commission unanimously rejected the request, the newspaper reported.

The city of Frisco declined not to comment on the items before the council meeting.

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