A new fee on car batteries is expected to generate $30-million dollars per year for cleanup of lead contaminated sites like the area surrounding the now defunct Exide battery plant. EGP news reports that starting April 1, 2017, a $1 fee on every lead-acid car battery sold in California will go to this fund.
The new fee was signed into law by Governor Brown last month. Retailers currently charge a state-mandated fee that customers get back when they recycle their battery. A dollar from that will go towards the new cleanup money.
State regulators have long said cleanup was stifled by a lack of funds. 10,000 properties in Boyle Heights, Bell, Commerce, East Los Angeles, Huntington Park, Maywood, and Vernon are currently in the process of being tested, and some 2,500 will be cleaned. That’s due to a $176.6-million dollar loan the governor approved earlier this year.
EGP writes that the funds collected by this new fee can be used to repay that loan or added to the Exide cleanup budget. State officials still have to study the environmental effect that the cleanup would have on the surrounding community.