VERNON, Calif., July 10, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Exide Technologies (OTCQB:XIDEQ) (www.exide.com), a global leader in stored electrical-energy solutions, released the following statement after the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) Hearing Board approved new orders, putting in place tough new environmental protections and requiring the Company to make enhancements at its Vernon, California recycling facility.
"The new orders from AQMD are a significant and positive step forward for our employees, the community, and the recycling industry," said Thomas Strang, Exide's Vice President of Environment Health & Safety – Americas. "Exide is committed to meeting the new air quality standards. Completing this plan will enhance the environmental performance of our Vernon facility and allow us to resume our role as part of California's green economy."
In light of the District's Orders, Exide is extending Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notifications sent to more than 100 employees at the Vernon facility.
The Hearing Board's decision resolves the two District abatement petitions pending against the Company and the lawsuit filed by Exide challenging recently amended District Rule 1420.1. Exide has agreed to the terms of two Orders For Abatement that were approved by the District Hearing Board on July 10, 2014.
Under those Orders, Exide will not resume operations of its Vernon facility furnaces until it installs additional air quality control equipment to comply with the newly adopted Rule 1420.1 standards. That construction will be performed in accordance with a District-approved dust mitigation plan and District-issued permits. The Company will also submit monthly status reports to the Hearing Board on progress of planned upgrades.
Exide will also dismiss its lawsuit challenging recently amended District Rule 1420.1.
What's Ahead for Exide's Vernon Recycling Facility
Production at Exide's Vernon recycling facility has been idled since March 2014 when the Company suspended operations at the facility. Exide's implementation of its enhancement plan is the first step toward returning the facility to full production.
Battery Recycling is Critical to Environmental Sustainability. Exide Technologies has proudly been producing and recycling lead-acid batteries around the world for more than 120 years and plays an important role in fostering California's green economy and promoting environmental sustainability. The Vernon facility is one of only two plants in the United States west of the Rockies that recycles car batteries – the plant recycles approximately 25,000 batteries a day and about eight million a year. Recycling keeps batteries from being disposed of in harmful ways or shipped overseas where regulations are lacking.
About Exide Technologies
Exide Technologies, with operations in more than 80 countries, is one of the world's largest producers and recyclers of lead-acid batteries. The Company's global business groups provide a comprehensive range of stored electrical energy products and services for industrial and transportation applications. Transportation markets include original-equipment and aftermarket automotive, heavy-duty truck, agricultural and marine applications, and new technologies for hybrid vehicles and automotive applications. Industrial markets include network power applications such as telecommunications systems, electric utilities, railroads, photovoltaic (solar-power related) and uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and motive-power applications including lift trucks, mining and other commercial vehicles.
Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements with respect to our Chapter 11 filing and related matters. These forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following general factors such as: (i) the plan proposal referenced herein is non-binding and there can be no assurance that the Company will reach a definitive agreement for a plan of reorganization, (ii) the ability of the Company to develop, prosecute, confirm and consummate the Chapter 11 plan of reorganization, (iii) the potential adverse impact of the Chapter 11 filing on the Company's liquidity and operations and the risks associated with operating businesses under Chapter 11 protection, (iv) the ability of the Company to comply with the terms of the DIP financing facility, (v) the Company's ability to obtain additional financing, (vi) the Company's ability to retain key management and employees, (vii) customer response to the Chapter 11 filing, (viii) the risk factors or uncertainties listed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in connection with the Company's Chapter 11 filing, (ix) the fact that lead, a major constituent in most of the Company's products, experiences significant fluctuations in market price and is a hazardous material that may give rise to costly environmental and safety claims, (x) the Company's ability to implement and fund business strategies based on current liquidity, (xi) the Company's ability to realize anticipated efficiencies and avoid additional unanticipated costs related to its restructuring activities, (xii) the cyclical nature of the industries in which the Company operates and the impact of current adverse economic conditions on those industries, (xiii) unseasonable weather (warm winters and cool summers) which adversely affects demand for automotive and some industrial batteries, (xiv) the Company's substantial debt and debt service requirements which may restrict the Company's operational and financial flexibility, as well as imposing significant interest and financing costs, (xv) the litigation proceedings to which the Company is subject, the results of which could have a material adverse effect on the Company and its business, (xvi) the realization of the tax benefits of the Company's net operating loss carry forwards, which is dependent upon future taxable income, (xvii) competitiveness of the battery markets in the Americas and Europe, (xviii) risks involved in foreign operations such as disruption of markets, changes in import and export laws, currency restrictions, currency exchange rate fluctuations and possible terrorist attacks against U.S. interests, (xix) the ability to acquire goods and services and/or fulfill later needs at budgeted costs, (xx) general economic conditions, (xxi) the Company's ability to successfully pass along increased material costs to its customers, (xxii) recently adopted U.S. lead emissions standards and the implementation of such standards by applicable states, and (xxiii) the Company's ability to resume operations at its Vernon, California recycling facility.
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