Illinois EPA scrutinizes Chicago area shredding plant

State agency alleges objects were ejected from shredder in Blue Island and landed on adjoining property.

April 27, 2014
Recycling Today Staff
Auto Shredding Legislation & Regulations

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has referred an enforcement action against Metal Recycling Systems Inc., Blue Island, Ill., to the Illinois Attorney General’s office for allegedly violating the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and Illinois Pollution Control Board regulations. The Illinois EPA is seeking what it calls “immediate injunctive relief” and is asking the Attorney General’s office to order the shredding plant to cease operations.

Metal Recycling Systems, which operates an auto shredder and nonferrous metals separation system in Blue Island, near Chicago, has been the subject of a violation notice issued by the Illinois EPA on April 2, 2014. Since then, the agency says it has received additional complaints that resulted in an inspection of the property and the referral seeking the injunctive relief.

While visiting the facility the Illinois EPA says it observed objects that had allegedly been ejected from the company’s shredder onto adjacent property beyond the facility’s boundaries. The agency also observed damage to a nearby structure allegedly caused by an object ejected from the shredder. The Illinois EPA believes conditions at the facility have changed since a violation notice was issued in early April and that there currently “is an imminent threat to public health and welfare.”

In the referral, the EPA cited violations of public nuisance common law related to the ejection of objects from the shredder, allowing emissions of particulate matter to extend beyond the facility boundaries and other recordkeeping and reporting violations.

The Illinois EPA has asked the Illinois Attorney General to require Metal Recycling Systems to immediately cease all operations at the Blue Island facility until what it calls “proper measures” can be taken to protect public health and safety. The measures include development, implementation and submittal of a compliance plan to address projectiles and particulate matter emissions from the facility as well as correcting the alleged recordkeeping and reporting requirements.