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California Scrap Metal Recycler Fined for Hazardous Waste

SA Recycling LLC, a metal recycler and processor based in Orange, California, recently paid $255,000 in fines for hazardous waste, the Business Journal reported.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) previously conducted an inspection and found that soil, dirt, dust, and debris at one of the recycler’s sites exceeded regulatory limits for heavy metals. The Fresno County Superior Court entered a judgment against SA Recycling over the violation, and the company paid the fine on July 11.

SA Recycling specializes in scrap metal, recycling millions of tons of ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals, glass, paper, cardboard, and electronics annually, according to the company’s website. They operate 70 facilities in the Southwest as well as locations in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee.

Contamination issues first came to light several years ago during an inspection that prompted the DTSC to issue a summary of violations. The recycler began addressing the contamination in 2014, and a cleanup plan was approved in March of last year, the DTSC said in a public statement (PDF).

In 2011, SA Recycling’s owner and operator settled with the California DTSC and the Los Angeles district attorney’s office for $2.9 million over allegations that the company had released toxic materials into the atmosphere. An explosion at the recycler’s auto shredding facility on Terminal Island near Long Beach in 2007 destroyed the air pollution control system, but the company continued to operate for several more weeks anyway, Recycling Today reported.

As part of the settlement in 2011, SA Recycling paid nearly half a million dollars to academic, community, and research organizations, they reimbursed the state and the court for costs, and also put $1.7 million toward a new air pollution control system, according to the LA Times.

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