CITY Friscosettles Exidedispute, expects cleanup to resumesoon
Exide Technologies’ battery recycling plant operations were located right next to Stewart Creek, as seen in this 2013 photo. All of the buildings at the site have since been taken down, but contamination of the site remains. (Courtesy Exide Technologies)
Plans forGrandPark Frisco Mayor Je # Cheney said it has been a years-long struggle to get to this point. “This is a major milestone for the city of Frisco to ! nally not only gain control of the property but gain control of the cleanup process,” Cheney said. During an Oct. 5 Town Hall, Cheney said plans for Grand Park have grown to 600 acres that extend throughout the central core of the entire city. He said residents can expect to begin hearing more about Frisco’s plans for Grand Park next year. “I am really hopeful that we can start moving forward with a shovel in the ground on some part of this project by the end of 2021,” Cheney said during the town hall. Remediationprocess The cleanup process involves removing contaminated soil as well as pieces of broken battery casings and a waste material called slag. The city estimates cleanup will cost about $29 million. According to a city news release, Frisco will pay $3.5 million to settle claims with Aspen American Insurance Company, which held a $25 million bond posted by Exide for cleanup. That $25 million will be put in a trust for the site’s cleanup. The city is expected to pay the remaining $4 million for cleanup. To help pay for future mainte- nance and operations, the city said it plans to raise trash fees $1 per cart per month for residential customers and 2% for commercial customers.
BY WILLIAM C. WADSACK
The city of Frisco and its Com- munity Development Corporation have taken ownership of 102 acres where the former Exide Technologies battery recycling plant operated for decades as part of an agreement that will allow for the remaining cleanup of contamination at the site. A new agreement was approved by Frisco City Council on Oct. 6, and the land transfer was ! nalized Oct. 26. Once cleanup of the land located west of Parkwood Boulevard near Stewart Creek is done, city o " cials plan to begin work on Frisco’s Grand Park project, which will include some of the Exide land. Frisco originally reached an agreement with Exide Technologies in 2012 to close the plant, which had too-high lead emissions. Frisco City Attorney Richard Abernathy told council all elements of the 2012 agreement were completed except for the plant site’s cleanup, which would remove contaminants, purify about 100 acres of soil and properly close the land ! lls. Abernathy said progress has been made despite Exide’s two bankruptcies and lawsuits between the city and the company. Exide ! led for bankruptcy in May 2020 and received approval in August to sell its battery business in the U.S. “Exide’s goal was to abandon the [Frisco] property,” Abernathy said. “So the city of Frisco has entered into an agreement to have it conveyed to Frisco. And based on that conveyance, Frisco will complete the remediation.”
FORMER PLANT SITE ACQUIRED BY CITY
UNDEVELOPED LAND BOUGHT BY CITY
FUTURE GRAND PARK
MAP NOT TO SCALE
TARGETS FOR THE CLEANUP Cleanup involves Exide’s former site of operations as well as the area in and around Stewart Creek, as contaminants have migrated downstream over the years.
SOIL Contaminated with lead, cadmium and arsenic
SLAG Waste formed when lead is recovered from used batteries
BATTERY CHIPS Pieces from outer casings of used batteries
SOURCES: CITY OF FRISCO, EXIDE TECHNOLOGIES, TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ! COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
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FRISCO EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020
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