WASHINGTON, March 12 (Reuters) - Exide Technologies has agreed to shutter its lead-acid battery recycling facility in Vernon, California, to avoid criminal prosecution for illegal storage of hazardous waste.
As part of the agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office in California, which was made public on Thursday, Exide will "immediately and permanently cease operations" at the plant.
Exide admitted to storing lead-contaminated hazardous waste inside leaking van trailers on a number of occasions over the past two decades, the Justice Department said.
The company will also demolish the facility and clean up any groundwater contamination, according to the agreement.
Exide Technologies has operated the recycling plant since 2000, but the facility has been in use since 1922. (Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Alan Crosby)