Asbestos, mercury violations lead to fine for Massachusetts scrap recycler

Central Mass Recycled Metals assessed $36,775 penalty.

August 14, 2015

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) reports that it has assessed a $36,775 penalty to Central Mass Recycled Metals LLC, Millbury, Massachusetts, for violating state asbestos and mercury management regulations.

In a press release issued by the agency, MassDEP says its asbestos program and Environmental Strike Force inspected the company’s recycling facility in August and October 2013. During the August inspection, agency personnel observed dry, asbestos-containing insulation lying uncontained on the ground outdoors, on pieces of scrap metal and on pieces of dismantled boilers exposed to the ambient air at the site, the MassDEP says. During the October inspection, agency personnel determined that the company was partially crushing vehicles without first removing mercury-added components, as required by law, the agency says.

Central Mass Recycled Metals was ordered to retain a Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards-licensed asbestos contractor to properly remove, package and dispose of the asbestos-containing waste materials and to cease crushing vehicles without first removing the mercury-added components.

“Metal recycling facilities must ensure that the scrap metals they receive are clean and free of asbestos, as asbestos is a known carcinogen. Preventing asbestos-containing materials from entering these facilities protects workers, customers and the general public from exposure,” says John Kronopolus, deputy regional director in MassDEP’s Central Regional Office in Worcester. “Failure to remove mercury-added components from vehicles prior to crushing poses a serious threat to the environment and public health. As this penalty demonstrates, companies that fail to comply with these regulations face significant penalties, as well as escalated cleanup, decontamination and monitoring costs.”