Frisco Raises Concerns After More Lead-tainted Battery Chips Found at Defunct Exide Plant

FRISCO -- Thousands of battery chips found buried on Exide land have raised more concerns for Frisco officials who agreed to buy much of the property once it's cleaned up. The chips come from the outer plastic casings on used automotive and industrial batteries recycled at the now-closed plant that had operated since the late 1960s. Using them as fill in for vacant lots, driveways and road beds was common practice for the battery recycling industry decades ago. But the chips are often contaminated with lead and other hazardous chemicals. Exide's recent excavation work revealed battery chips mixed with fill material at a depth of about two feet in an area east of Parkwood Boulevard. Casings were also found in the right of way on both sides of the road. That suggests they could also be under the road, according to a recent letter from the city's special counsel who wants more tests done. The news about more ground contamination comes as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that the area around the closed Exide plant officially meets federal air quality standard for lead. The all-clear from the EPA hit seven years after lead emissions from the secondary smelter were deemed unsafe. Years of research has shown long-term health risks from even the smallest amounts of lead exposure. Children are the most vulnerable. An unwanted designationThe Collin County lead designation in 2010 was the only one in Texas. It was one of 22 areas in the nation that did not meet EPA standards.  Continue reading...

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