Senator Lena Gonzalez and Senator Maria Elena Durazo Respond to Proposed Exide Cleanup Funds in Governor’s 2021-22 Budget May Revise
May 15, 2021
Sacramento, Calif. – On May 15th, 2021, Senator Lena A. Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) and Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) released the following statements in response to the $454 million proposed funding allocation in Governor Newsom’s 2021-22 Budget May Revise to clean Exide’s former Vernon facility. For decades, Exide conducted battery recycling operations that contaminated surrounding properties. To this day, hazardous chemicals still pollute the area and threaten the health and wellbeing of thousands of families living in Southeast Los Angeles.
“Southeast Los Angeles has suffered greatly from environmental injustice issues and doing what we can to remediate the damage this community has suffered from polluters like Exide is essential,” said Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach). “I appreciate the Governor’s designation of funds to help clean up the former Exide facility and all the homes, schools, playgrounds and other properties that were contaminated with harmful chemicals. Prioritizing this issue will help prevent devastating and detrimental long-term health impacts for families and children that live in this area for decades to come. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature to advance legislation that will prevent environmental disasters like this one from happening again, and to transform our communities into cleaner, greener healthier places that everyone can live and thrive in.”
“I commend Governor Newsom’s proposal of almost half a billion dollars to clean up the Exide facility and surrounding neighborhoods including Boyle Heights,” said Senator Durazo (D-Los Angeles). “Now we can be sure we will clean a community whose homes and parks have been poisoned by Exide’s toxic actions. Exide left California on the hook for their corporate negligence when they used bankruptcy laws to avoid responsibility. Now we have to take legislative action to hold polluters like Exide accountable and do everything within our power to prevent another environmental catastrophe like this.”
Senator Gonzalez represents the 33rd Senate District, which includes the City of Long Beach and portions of South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles including the cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, Signal Hill, and South Gate. Senator Gonzalez lives in Long Beach with her husband Adam and three sons.
Senator María Elena Durazo represents the 24th Senate District in California which includes the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Boyle Heights, El Sereno, Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Glassell Park, Mt. Washington, Cypress Park, Lincoln Heights, Atwater Village, Elysian Valley, Arlington Heights, Echo Park, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Little Armenia, Thai Town, Larchmont, Koreatown, Pico-Union, Westlake-MacArthur Park, Historic Filipinotown, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Arts District, Civic Center, City Terrace, and East Los Angeles.