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Climate and Environment

Battery Processing Plant Will Endanger City Of Industry Residents, LA Officials Say

Downtown Pasadena Buildings with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background.
The San Gabriel Mountains were barely visible from Downtown Pasadena thanks to smog.
(Jacob Margolis
/
LAist )
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L.A. County officials have come out against a proposed expansion of a battery processing plant in the City of Industry.

In a letter to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, public health director Barbara Ferrer recommends against giving Quemetco a permit to expand its operations by 25%.

The permitting process requires regulators to create environmental impact reports, and AQMD's draft found no substantial negative outcomes.

But Ferrer disagrees and finds AQMD's analysis insufficient and lists several environmental concerns, including that the Quemetco facility works with waste that contains toxins such as lead and arsenic.

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Environmental advocates say that past settlements with regulators show a pattern of violating emissions policies, and some local residents complain of health issues as a result.

Quemetco says it is "committed to meeting or exceeding all applicable environmental standards."

County Supervisor Hilda Solis has also sent AQMD a letter opposing the expansion, noting "the communities near Quemetco have been disproportionately impacted by air pollution, more than other communities in the state."

The public can comment on the matter through February 15th at AQMD.gov.

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