L.A. Board of Supervisors Sued Over Acton Lithium Facility

The lithium revolution holds great promise for energy independence, economic development, and California’s quest to become carbon neutral by 2045. But it also elicits environmental and public health anxieties in the communities where lithium facilities would be located.

These concerns were spelled out in a recent lawsuit against the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. The suit aims to stop a 12-acre lithium-ion battery storage facility from going up in unincorporated Acton. It was filed by Save Our Rural Town, a rural advocacy group in the Antelope Valley. 

According to the plaintiffs, extreme wildfire risk makes Acton a terrible place for a battery storage facility. In the event of a fire, residents worry flames could spread to the site, causing toxic chemicals to spread throughout the air and groundwater. Compounding the worry is the community’s close proximity to the San Andreas fault.

The lawsuit takes issue with how the project was approved. A public hearing was not required before the county initially signed off.

L.A. County Fire Chief Anthony C. Marrone has tried to assuage the public’s concerns.

“Even if you are in the very high or high fire severity danger zone, we’re going to make sure that we put things in place to make sure that the communities are not at risk,” Marrone said at a recent board meeting.

Fears persist. Some residents are so opposed to the idea, they say they’ll move away if the facility is built. 

Read more about the concerns and the recent lawsuit at the Los Angeles Times.