Site of the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon, in southeast Los Angeles. photo Nick Ut/AP

The Price of Clean Up

The long-suffering residents of South L.A. claimed a win in 2015 when the Exide Battery Plant in nearby Vernon was scheduled to close. For years the plant had spewed all kinds of toxic chemicals into the air -- including lead and arsenic.  An estimated 10,000 properties could be contaminated, and the cleanup is expected to take years and cost millions of dollars. Now nearly 2 years after closing the plant a plan is finally in place to clean up 2,500 homes. But why not all of them? And what is taking so long? Val Zavala talks to residents and state regulators about the price of cleanup.

 

Featured interviews with: 

Dilia Ortega and Mayra Lopez with Community For Better Environment

Moshen Nazemi with the California Department of Toxic Substance Control

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

'Who Approved That?,' 'Super Soil,' and 'Oil Activist'

As developments continue to pop up all over L.A., some residents are questioning who approves them. SoCal Connected takes a deep dive into L.A.'s housing and asks if the single family home is an endangered species 

It's considered some of the richest super soil in California. Get a close look at the idyllic Apricot Farms, where cutting-edge environmental practices and old school farming techniques are producing some of the purest produce around.

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'Blowing Concerns,' 'Comeback Kids' and 'Family Savings Plan'

In a joint investigation with FairWarning, SoCal Connected looks at the politics behind regulating California's largest polluter: backyard motorized equipment like leaf blowers and lawn mowers. 

The California Condor is back from the brink of extinction but the job is far from over. Find out what it takes to keep a species surviving and thriving.

Would you switch from gas to veggie oil to run your car? how about stop flying on airplanes? Those are just some of the ways a local family has cut their energy use by ninety percent.

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30 Years with Val Zavala

Val Zavala, whose presence has been an integral part of the Southern California media landscape for three decades, is retiring. Her legacy as a news anchor/producer, Latina role model and an award-winning journalist deeply involved in the community she covers will be recognized in a special tribute episode of "SoCal Connected."

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'Airbnbs Gone Wild' and 'Military Buds'

In its season premiere episode, SoCal Connected has found neighbors throughout L.A. filing lawsuits, restraining orders and calling the police on each other, all over the arrival of short term rentals. Can these Airbnb turf wars be settled by City Hall leaders? Will self regulation of the short term rental industry be a better solution to L.A.'s enforcement challenges? SoCal Connected's Nic Cha Kim dives into L.A.'s short term rental challenge.

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'The Assassin Bugs' and 'Mending Kids'

They’re tiny, weaponized, and carry a potentially deadly payload. They’re called “Assassin Bugs” and they can be as common as the backyard mosquito or as exotic as the so-called “kissing bug"--and they're here in Southern California, spreading some of the deadliest - and neglected- diseases in the world.

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