The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued an alert to scrap metal sites holding large shredder operations on raising its enforcement measures relating to emission compliance.
The targeted shredders include facilities that shred cars and appliances, which is currently estimated at 250 permitted US sites by the EPA. The alert aims to inform scrap metal operators of applicable Clean Air Act requirements, based on volatile organic compounds (VOC) emission volumes and other pollution produced by the identified shredder.
The alert takes into account recent settlements between scrap metal companies and states to mitigate any environmental concerns. In March this year, Schnitzer Steel reached a settlement with California for its Oakland facility, wherein the steelmaker will pay $4.1mn in penalties, undertake additional environmental protection projects and change some of its operations to comply with the new EPA standards. This includes installing a temporary CEM and acid control system as well as two regenerative thermal oxidizers by December 2022.
In another case, Rhode Island reached a settlement with Sims Metal Management (SMM) last year for its shredder in Johnston where the latter will pay $250,000 in federal penalties and $2mn in state fines along with installing an enclosure, fans, and a regenerative thermal oxidizer to reduce particulate matter.
The EPA noted in its alert that shredder operators must monitor VOC amounts and other emissions from their site and should contact local agencies for additional advice. Enforcement measures include extensive fines to non-compliant facilities.
Installation of emission capture and control equipment will be required under the more rigorous guidelines. Facilities that neglect these obligations will be in violation of the Clean Air Act and could be subject to extensive enforcement measures and penalties, EPA indicated.