For Immediate Release
Contact: Faraz Rizvi
CCAEJ DEMANDS INVESTIGATION OF DTSC FOR ILLEGAL DISPOSAL OF EXIDE WASTE AT STRINGFELLOW
Jurupa Valley, CA – On Friday, April 29, 2022 it came to our attention that the lead contaminated Exide waste from Vernon, CA is being transported to Stringfellow in Jurupa Valley and other landfills across the United States in violation of Health and Safety regulations.
According to DTSC staff at an April 27th Stringfellow Briefing meeting, Stringfellow is currently storing seven, forty ft. cargo containers filled with Exide contaminated waste samples, despite staff warnings that such action is illegal. In addition to the Stringfellow site it appears other sites may have also been recipients of the dangerous waste materials. Former DTSC Director Barbara Lee and DTSC Attorney Grant Cope authorized the action despite being advised it was illegal. These actions possess a dangerous threat of lead exposure, especially as summer temperatures rise in the coming months. This is extremely concerning not only because the Exide waste is being transported to the Stringfellow site, but all the landfills that do not have proper oversight to mitigate the lead level exposure to workers and communities, including high risks of fire danger.
Stringfellow is in the middle of its own clean up, after decades of toxic chemical dumping. DTSC was found to be the Responsible Party with all liability for the cleanup of the site for failure to meet its regulatory duty of protecting public health. “Here they are again ignoring the law and threatening the public’s safety”, said Penny Newman, founder and former Executive Director for CCAEJ and now chair of the Stringfellow special project. Vulnerable communities such as Jurupa Valley and South Fontan, which are closest to the site, are once again being exposed to toxic chemicals against staff’s recommendations and proper oversight from the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA).
We are demanding that the California Attorney General, Rob Bonta and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conduct a thorough investigation of this urgent matter to prevent further exposure to lead contaminated waste and other toxins in vulnerable communities and hold former DTSC Director Barbara Lee and Grant Cope from CalEPA accountable. These actions are illegal and go against the mission of these agencies to protect public health and the environment.
CCAEJ is a long-standing community based organization with over 40 years of experience advocating for environmental justice through strategic campaigns and building a base of community power. Most notably, CCAEJ’s founder Penny Newman won a landmark federal case against Stringfellow Construction which resulted in the `Stringfellow Acid Pits’ being declared one of the first Superfund sites in the nation. CCAEJ prioritizes community voices as we continue our grassroots efforts to bring lasting environmental justice to the Inland Empire.