Coordinating County Efforts Related to the Quemetco Lead Battery Recycling Facility

The Quemetco battery recycling facility in the City of Industry reportedly operates 18 hours per day every day, crushing and melting 600 tons of used batteries to recover lead and other materials. State regulators have alleged that Quemetco has violated State laws in handling toxic substances, including lead, potentially endangering the health and safety of communities near Quemetco, which are predominantly Latino and working class.  County Counsel leads the County team opposing expansion of the Quemetco facility and advocating for DTSC to increase regulatory oversight to better protect impacted communities.

Before its DTSC permit reportedly expired in 2015, Quemetco submitted a permit renewal application.  DTSC has been reviewing that application since March of 2015. The County advocated that before DTSC acts on Quemetco’s application, the environmental and public health impacts from Quemetco’s operations must be fully disclosed to the public. In addition to renewal of its permit, Quemetco proposed to expand its facility’s operations from 18 hours per day to 24 hours per day to enhance its capacity and profitability.  The County alleges that expansion of operations at Quemetco raises serious environmental justice issues as the communities near the facility are already overburdened.  The County’s Quemetco Team includes Supervisor Solis’ staff, the Department of Public Health, County Fire, and County Counsel.

*Quemetco has not admitted allegations asserted by the County or State regulators.