Frisco is one step closer to having the area around the closed Exide Technologies plant back in compliance with the federal air-quality standard for lead.
On Wednesday, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality approved moving forward with a request to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to remove a “nonattainment area” designation put in place in 2010 because of high lead emissions. The vote also includes a proposed maintenance plan to ensure compliance of the lead standard through 2028.
Frisco’s nonattainment area for lead encompasses a 1.28-square-mile around the plant. It’s the only one in Texas and one of only 21 in the nation. The designation was triggered after the federal air-quality standard for lead was tightened tenfold in 2008, from 1.5 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air to 0.15 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air.
The Exide plant, which recycled used automotive and industrial batteries, closed in November 2012 as part of a landmark agreement with the city. Lead emissions in the area went from 1.06 tons in 2010 to zero by 2013.