Exide Technologies has been hit with a grand jury subpoena in connection with a criminal investigation involving its Vernon lead-recycling plant in California.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Exide revealed the August 8 subpoena seeks “documents relating to materials transportation and air emissions.” Exide itself and “certain unidentified individuals” are targets of the investigation” being conducted by the Justice Department in the Central District of California.
Exide said in the SEC filing that it “will cooperate” with the probe, but is unable to estimate “the amount or range of loss, if any, in this matter.”
Exide has said it is making adjustments to its business plan to account for the possibility it won’t be able to bring the Vernon plant back online and will have to buy lead on the open market instead.
In a related development, Exide is to lay off 64 workers at Vernon but postpone the layoffs of 73 other workers at the facility.
In July, Exide received orders from the state to comply with air quality rules on dust mitigation at Vernon. Exide will not resume operation of the plant’s furnaces until it installs additional air quality control equipment, a project estimated at $5 million.
The company said the layoffs will be in effect until a decision is made about the future of the plant. The 73 workers whose layoffs were postponed will remain to help manage the installation and maintenance of the new equipment.