SPC Corp., Philadelphia Councilman Reach Deal on Auto Shredder

If shredder is to continue operating, it must be enclosed by Dec. 1, 2013, to eliminate excessive noise and vibrations.

August 1, 2013
Recycling Today Staff
Auto Shredding Equipment & Products Legislation & Regulations
Philadelphia Councilman Kenyatta Johnson has reported that the city of Philadelphia has reached an agreement with the scrap metal recycling firm SPC Corp. over the operations of the company’s auto shredder.

The company, located in Philadelphia, had been criticized for the explosions, loud noises and vibrations created by the auto shredder’s operations. 

In a copy of a consent agreement between Philadelphia and SPC, a total of 33 complaints of explosions were made to the city’s Air Management Services (AMS) between November 2012 and March 2013. Further, according to AMS officials, surveillance at the plant found 10 explosions occurred between Jan. 25, 2013, to Feb. 7, 2013.

To remedy the situation, June 4, 2013, AMS and SPC entered into a comprehensive Administrative Consent Order and Agreement that requires a host of corrective measures to prevent explosions and other violations at the plant.

The agreement includes:
  • SPC must notify the city if it is to cease operation of the shredder at the location by Sep. 10, 2013. If the shredder is to be shut down, all shredder operations will cease by Oct. 1, 2013.
  • If shredder operations are to continue, SPC must enclose the shredder by Dec. 1, 2013, to eliminate risk of excessive noise and vibrations.
  • In the meantime, SPC must take immediate steps to modify operations at the facility, including adding quality assurance personnel during shredding operations to reduce the risk of explosions at the facility.
  • SPC has agreed to pay significant financial penalties in the event that it fails to abide by the agreement or if additional noise or related violations arise.
  • The city reserves the right to take additional steps, including but not limited to going to court, to enforce the agreement and the law.
For ongoing monitoring, the two parties have agreed to:
  • AMS will continue periodic surveillance of the shredder operation and will install a camera nearby to monitor the facility.
  • AMS also will continue to keep records of all residents' complaints of fires and explosions. Should there be an increase in complaints, nighttime surveillance will increase accordingly.
  • Under the agreement, SPC can temporarily operate under the existing permit and the terms of this agreement for a limited time to allow the company time to make the various upgrades to the shredder facility or decide to cease operation of the shredder.
  • AMS will not issue a new permit to SPC unless the enclosure for the shredder is demonstrated to prevent excessive noise and vibration.
  • The public will have an opportunity to comment and request a hearing on such a permit as required by law.
  • SPC Corp. is also required to pay the city $12,470 to reimburse AMS officials for investigatory costs, as well as $6,530 in civil penalties.
The company will in the future face penalties of $1,500 per violation per day for not complying with the terms of the consent agreement, $500 for any violation of the city noise and vibration code and $3,000 for any failure to report fires or explosions at the facility’s shredder.