- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles County is creating a task force to recommend ways of closing a battery recycling plant after elevated lead levels were found in the soil at 39 surrounding homes and a school.

The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to create the strike team, which will report back in 90 days. The team also will try to identify other facilities that are emitting toxic pollutants.

Supervisor Gloria Molina says state regulators haven’t been doing enough to close the Exide plant in Vernon, which was ordered to conduct further testing after the elevated lead levels were found.

Exide plant manager John Hogarth told supervisors that Exide has spent $20 million on upgrades to reduce pollution and considers the health of residents a “top priority.”

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