Now that the Exide lead smelter is closed and the company is going through
bankruptcy, the Frisco City Council must decide what it wants to do with the
contaminated property left behind. Its own engineer gave the Council two choices: A permanent
toxic waste landfill or complete clean-up and redevelopment.
As a Frisco resident, which would you choose?
LATEST: WHY THE DECEMBER 9th COURT DEADLINE IS SO IMPORTANT
But according to the city’s own engineering consultant, it’s going to take $135 million to dig up the lead waste, haul it out and make the property and Stewart Creek safe for redevelopment.
Frisco Unleaded is asking the city to request this larger amount for a complete clean-up.
Join us in our effort to make sure the Council does the right thing.
Complete removal of Exide waste in Frisco is a must
Dec. 9 is an important deadline for Frisco that has the potential to impact the city’s development for decades to come.
By that date, City Hall must file a monetary claim with the judge hearing the Exide bankruptcy case for the amount the city wants the company to set aside for the cleanup of the former lead smelter near downtown.
Last summer the Frisco City Council received a report from its own engineering consultant outlining two very different options to choose from when deciding what to do with the contaminated property.
One option is building a 40-acre permanent toxic waste dump on the Exide site, surrounded by a 20- to 40-foot-high, mile-long slurry wall to try and keep Exide toxins from further contaminating Stewart Creek and the city’s Grand Park.
This option will cost approximately $20 million. It also will give the city a Superfund stigma, drive down property values, leave the waste a constant threat to Stewart Creek and Grand Park, and cost Frisco billions in lost economic development. There’s also some question about whether the consultant’s estimate includes long-term landfill costs like monitoring for 100 years.
The second option being presented to the City Council is complete removal of all Exide toxic waste. That would cost $135 million and include digging up the waste and hauling it off to a licensed hazardous waste disposal site.
This option would leave the Exide property clean enough to be developed just like any other piece of prime Frisco real estate next to the Dallas North Tollway. It would also leave Stewart Creek and Grand Park free of the risk of contamination, as well as provide the city with rising land values, new property taxes and jobs.
This should be an easy choice for our City Council. Frisco has a reputation of never skimping when it comes to quality of life issues. It shouldn’t start with the largest toxic pollution problem the town has ever faced.
Yet the City Council is leaning toward building a new permanent toxic waste dump in the middle of Frisco. The stated rationale for such a decision makes one’s head spin: It’s better to place the waste in the middle of densely populated neighborhoods, schools and parks, next to a creek, in the heart of Frisco, than to isolate it in a licensed hazardous waste landfill.
That’s why we’re joining with other Frisco residents to begin our own do-it-yourself “Community Clean-up” of Exide waste starting this Saturday. We’ll be sponsoring lead testing with an XRF lead analyzer in the square and scouring Grand Park for signs of Exide contamination.
Our message is simple: If our city government won’t step up to get things moving toward a complete cleanup, Frisco residents will. We want the best for our town, and that means no toxic waste left behind in the middle of it.
Because we know the bankruptcy court won’t give us everything we want, we’re also working with legislators to divert the state’s decade-old battery fee that was specifically intended to address environmental problems at Exide to go to the site’s cleanup. We can’t afford to rely solely on the EPA or the state. We need to protect our community with proactive planning.
Frisco City Hall must do the same and commit itself to the comprehensive cleanup of the Exide site. Anything less would leave Frisco exposed to economic and environmental damage for decades. The city just brokered a large deal to bring the Cowboys to town. Residents like us hope the City Council is as committed to protecting the public health and safety as it is to attracting sports teams.
Fourteen-year Frisco resident Colette McCadden is chair of Frisco Unleaded. Equilla Harper is a five-year Frisco resident and a Frisco Unleaded board member. Five-year Frisco resident Meghan Green is also on the group’s board. They may be contacted through nofriscodump.com.
Tuesday, November 5th:
Frisco City Council Meeting,
Citizens’ Public Comment Time 7:30 pm
Come speak out against a permanent toxic waste
dump in Central Frisco.
Saturday November 9th:
Community Clean-Up Campaign Begins.
Free Lead testing on the Square and Grand Park
Contamination Sweep 10 am to 3 pm. We’ll have an
XRF lead analyzer on site to test for lead in soil,
paint, pottery or anything else you want to bring.
Displays and information about the Exide site
clean-up. Get yourself educated.