Battery manufacturer Exide Technologies shut down its Frisco, Texas, recycling plant late last week.
At least 122 employees were laid off because of the plant's closure. The closure came as part of an agreement with the city, which plans to buy about 180 acres of vacant land owned by Exide, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The company came under scrutiny several years ago because its lead emissions exceeded the federal air-quality standard, which was strengthened tenfold in 2008, the newspaper reported.
Exide had planned $20 million in improvements, but the bulk of the upgrades, such as enclosing all of the buildings under negative pressure, were never completed.
An area around the plant is one of 21 places in the country that do not meet the federal air-quality standard for lead, the newspaper said.
The Exide property's cleanup is estimated to take 12 to 18 months.
Exide recently idled its lead recycling operations in Reading, Pa., laying off 150 workers there.