Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Record Batteries factory closed by health ministry

In an action which surprised El Salvador's business sector, on Monday, September 24, the Ministry of Health closed the Record Batteries factory where used lead acid batteries are recycled. The closure is based on lead contamination poisoning the population living around the factory. Management of the company is protesting the closure, asserting that due process was not followed. 350 employees of the factory are left with an uncertain future. El Diario de Hoy has a photo gallery here.


Qiuvo said...

Wow! I can't believe the gov't actually shut this plant down. Looks to me like the situation was botched from the start. There should have been sanctions against the company first, as well as the opportunity to have them address the environmental damage with real solutions (changes in practices and policies) not to mention reparations. Now you have 350 people out of a job cold turkey and the plant is shut down altogether. Doesn't make sense.

Still, I'm surprised that the government took such drastic action because it usually lets these types of big companies and their owners get away with just about anything. Outside pressure and negative media attention, maybe?

Thanks for the update, Tim.

Don said...

Gosh, that was quick! It took the Health Dept. and the Ag. Dept. here in Ohio years to shut down a stinking, polluting, fly-infested factory egg farm.

But now, what will the El Sal gov't do about cleaning up the contaminated soil, etc?

Anonymous said...

Vote for Mauricio Funes 2009!

El-Visitador said...

«what will the El Sal gov't do about cleaning up the contaminated soil, etc?»

I will be shocked if the State does anything other than treat those already poisoned with lead-absorbing drugs (which is your basic first-aid treatment). Anything beyond that is hard to imagine.

And cynics will tell you that even this first aid is unlikely to happen in any sort of meaningful timeline.