Target: California State Governor Jerry Brown
Goal: Clean up hazardous lead and other toxins from family homes immediately.
Hazardous waste from an illegally operated battery recycling facility has contaminated at least 10,000 homes around Vernon, CA. For nine decades, this factory has spewed cancer-causing arsenic into the air and lead into the soil. With more and more residents complaining of health problems, the state of California needs to act now. Urge Governor Jerry Brown to address this crisis and cleanup these toxins immediately.
The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) closed the Exide-owned plant in March of 2015. In order to escape criminal charges, Exide agreed to pay for soil tests and cleanup. Out of the confirmed contaminated homes, less than 200 of them have been cleaned and only 50 more will be done by summer of 2016. At the current rate of operations, families will have to live with lead-filled yards for years.
The longer it takes to clean up lead and other contaminants, the more residents are put at risk for developing cancer and other diseases. Families are already seeing a rise in children born with developmental disabilities and all signs point to lead poisoning. Their parks, yards and homes are not safe for children to play. They are not safe for anyone.
Vernon is just a few cities away from where the Porter Ranch gas leak has taken place. Vernon citizens have watched the governor claim a state of emergency for this three-month gas leak while these citizens’ years of constant pollution continue to be pushed aside. Demand that Governor Jerry Brown makes Vernon a priority and cleans up these hazardous toxins immediately.
Dear Governor Brown,
One of California’s biggest environmental disasters has taken place in Vernon, CA. Every day, residents are exposed to lead and arsenic that the Exide plant left behind. The DTSC has promised that 50 homes will be cleaned of these hazards by June 2015. However, this is not enough. Families have been waiting years for action, and they cannot afford to wait any longer.
I implore you to act quickly and find the funds needed to clean up this travesty. Vernon and surrounding residents have nowhere else to go. They are looking to you for help. I urge you to answer their pleas and expedite a full cleanup of the lead and other contaminants that pollute Vernon homes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Emergency Vehicles