1. What is SB 1249 and why was it enacted?
Senate Bill (SB) 1249 by Senator Jerry Hill became law January 1, 2015, after fires at metal shredding facilities in his district, as well as historic concerns about metal shredders and their impact on the environment, raised concerns about metal shredder safety. SB 1249 required DTSC to thoroughly evaluate the operations of metal shredding facilities to ensure adequate protection of human health and the environment.
2. What is the difference between a metal recycling facility and a metal shredding facility?
A metal recycling facility (known as a “scrap recycling facility” in statute) is a facility where machinery and equipment are used for processing and manufacturing scrap metal into prepared grades and whose principal product is scrap iron or nonferrous metallic scrap for sale for remelting purposes. A scrap recycling facility includes, but is not limited to, a feeder yard, a metal shredding facility, a metal crusher, and a metal baler. Scrap recycling facilities are defined in California Health & Safety Code § 25211(e).
A “metal shredding facility” represents a unique subset of metal recycling facilities, one which uses a shredding technique to process end-of-life vehicles, appliances, and other forms of scrap metal to facilitate the separation and storing of ferrous metals (metals that contain iron, such as steel), nonferrous metals (metals that do not contain iron, such as aluminum and copper), and other recyclable materials from nonrecyclable materials that are components of end-of-life vehicles, appliances, and other forms of scrap metal. “Metal shredding facility” does not include a feeder yard, metal crusher, or metal baler, if that facility does not otherwise conduct metal shredding operations. Metal shredding facilities are defined in California Health & Safety Code § 25150.82(b).
3. How many metal shredding facilities are in California?
DTSC is currently aware of fewer than a dozen facilities in California that meet the statutory definition of a metal shredding facility.
4. What types of metal shredding facilities may be subject to the regulations that DTSC is considering for the management of chemically treated metal shredder residue?
DTSC is currently drafting regulations that would establish a conditional exclusion allowing metal shredding facilities to dispose of chemically treated metal shredder residue (CTMSR) in municipal solid waste landfills. These regulations would apply solely to metal shredding facilities that also conduct chemical stabilization treatment. In order to qualify for the conditional exclusion, a metal shredding facility would need to meet safety, training, and recordkeeping requirements regarding the chemical stabilization treatment processes that it applies to its metal shredder residue. Additionally, a metal shredding facility would need to demonstrate that it meets or exceeds the chemical stabilization treatment level specified in the regulations.
5. If I am a metal recycler, not a shredder, will I be subject to the new CTMSR regulations?
No, the CTMSR regulations only apply to certain metal shredders, as described above.
6. What is the difference between metal shredder aggregate, metal shredder residue, and CTMSR?
Metal shredder aggregate is the mixture of shredded material produced by the metal shredding hammer mill. It typically consists of both recoverable ferrous and nonferrous metal; plastics, rubber, glass, foam, and fabrics; residual amounts of fluids such as fuel, oil, and grease; and dirt and other debris.
Metal shredder residue is that portion of metal shredder aggregate that remains after the ferrous and nonferrous metals have been separated, but before chemical stabilization occurs.
CTMSR is metal shredder residue that has been subject to a chemical stabilization treatment process consisting of the addition of sodium or potassium silicate and an alkaline cement powder to reduce the metals’ ability to dissolve in water and be flushed into the environment.
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