Pennsylvania revises scrap metal theft law

Updated law requires scrap metal dealers to register with state police.

July 8, 2014
Recycling Today Staff
Ferrous Legislation & Regulations Nonferrous
The commonwealth of Pennsylvania has passed a bill that proponents say will make it more difficult for thieves to sell stolen railway materials and will require stronger credentials to be a scrap dealer or recycler.
The measure, SB 1077, which was sponsored by Sen. David Argall, adds railroad materials to the list of items that may only be sold to a scrap processor or recycler through a commercial entity. Pennsylvania’s scrap material theft prevention law mandates that items such as beer kegs, detached catalytic converters, metallic wire and construction materials, cannot be sold by individuals.
“Without a strong deterrent, it was only a matter of time until thieves created a costly tragedy by stealing train tracks, rail spikes and ties,” Argall says. “Considering the amount of material that is transported on our railways each day, the human and environmental impacts of a derailment could be catastrophic.”
Passed by the Pennsylvania Senate, the bill is now Act 79 of 2014 and was amended to include language from a similar proposal introduced by Rep. Tina Davis.

Davis’ amendment included several new key tools designed to combat scrap metal theft across the state, including requiring scrap processors and recycling facilities to register with the state police, directing the state police to post and maintain a statewide registry of scrap processors and recycling facilities on its website and giving courts the authority to impound vehicles linked to scrap metal thefts.

The bill was signed into law June 26, 2014, and will take effect 60 days from that date.