A proposed law requiring a Vernon battery recycler to get a final permit to operate by 2015 or shut down was approved Thursday morning by the California Senate.
The bill by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) targets Exide Technologies, one of the world's largest makers and recyclers of lead-acid batteries. The Exide plant's emissions of lead and arsenic are accused of posing a health danger to hundreds of thousands living in southeast Los Angeles County.
The recycler, which began operating in the 1920s and was bought by Exide in 2000, has never received a full permit as required by federal law. Instead, the company has been operating on a temporary permit the entire time.
Lara's bill requires the state to make sure all hazardous-waste facilities operating under such permits get final approval to operate by the end of next year or shut down. Exide is currently the only such facility without a full permit.
Company officials could not be reached for comment, but have previously said they are committed to public health and to meeting California's environmental standards.