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California Metal Recyclers Coalition files suit against DTSC

Department of Toxic Substances Control action threatens metal shredding and recycling facilities, organization says.

December 2, 2019

The California Metal Recyclers Coalition has filed a complaint against the state’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) in an attempt to prevent what it says is “the unlawful imposition of ‘hazardous waste’ facility permitting requirements on metal shredding and recycling facilities.”

The coalition says neither federal nor California law has ever classified scrap metal as a “hazardous waste,” meaning metal recycling facilities have never been considered “hazardous waste” treatment facilities.

The organization claims DTSC's action is unlawful and threatens to undermine the scrap metal recycling industry in California by making it infeasible to recycle scrap metal, including junked cars and old appliances. It also claims that the “hazardous waste” designation will result in such materials accumulating in huge quantities, causing potential threats to health and safety by being abandoned in back alleys, yards, neighborhood streets, vacant lots, along roadsides or in empty fields.

California Metal Recyclers Coalition says it is seeking a determination from the court that California’s Hazardous Waste Control Law does not authorize DTSC to require “hazardous waste” treatment facility permits for metal processing and recycling operations at California metal shredding facilities as well as injunctive relief.