Schools near Exide Plant fenced off to protect students from contaminated soil

- The Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon has been shut down for more than year...but it’s still raising health concerns.

Children at three local elementary schools returned to classes Thursday morning to find parts of their campuses sealed-off.

The Exide facility melted down used car batteries. The process released dangerous air pollutants into the surrounding communities for decades.

The plant was finally closed in March 2015, in a deal with federal prosecutors.

This month, temporary fencing went up at Fishburn Avenue Elementary in Maywood, Lorena Street Elementary in Boyle Heights...and Rowan Elementary in East LA. The move is designed to protect students from lead-contaminated soil.

You can see the work captured in screen grabs from the Department of Toxic Substances Control.

Officials say there is no immediate threat to students or staff, but say the ground had to be covered until a more complete assessment can be made.

A community meeting on the Exide cleanup will take place Thursday night at Maywood City Hall.

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