Berks County Takes No Delight In Exide Workers’ Plight

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In two years, the Berks County commissioners have positioned themselves squarely against Exide Technologies lead smelting plant in Laureldale.

But a day after Exide announced plans to idle the plant and lay off 150 employees by March 31, the commissioners said Friday that they were not celebrating the news.

“We take no joy in the loss of jobs in Berks County,” Commissioner Mark C. Scott said, “but I don’t think we’re willing to trade public health for jobs.”

In the past two years, the county has appealed two separate permits issued to Exide.  According to the commissioners, the permits fell short of what is needed to comply with national air standards and do not require the company to continue operating a network of air monitors around the plant.

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