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Metal Recycling News February 07, 2018 11:30:20 AM

Sims Metal Richmond Scrap Facility Cited for Air Quality Violations

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
According to officials, two notices of violation have been issued to the facility, located at 600 S. Fourth Street. This includes one public nuisance violation and one illegal open burning violation.
Sims Metal Richmond Scrap Facility Cited for Air Quality Violations

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): Sims Metal Management’s Richmond facility, where fire broke out last week, has been cited for two air quality violations by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District officials.

According to officials, two notices of violation have been issued to the facility, located at 600 S. Fourth Street. This includes one public nuisance violation and one illegal open burning violation. Earlier, the test results of air samples collected from around the surroundings by the Contra Costa Health Services Department had revealed the presence of elevated levels of benzene- a cancer-causing chemical. The benzene levels were almost three times over the safe limit, officials said.

Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District stated that investigations are still under process, in collaboration with Contra Costa County Health Services and other agencies. Fines and penalties are under review and would be announced only upon completion of the full investigation, he said. Meantime, Contra Costa Health Services official stated that negative health effects due to high benzene levels could not be ruled out. However, the effects would be limited as the exposure did not last long, he added.

ALSO READ: Sims Recycling Solutions Agrees For $400K Settlement with DTSC

Sims Metal Management spokeswoman noted that the company will review the notices and will work in co-operation with the agency to address its concerns. The company has also announced that it will hold a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at the Nevin Community Center at 598 Nevin Avenue in response to the incident.

It must be noted that Sims Metal Management has been cited earlier for similar violations. The company’s Redwood City facility was cited on two occasions in 2013, following fire incidents. Violations were issued on both the instances.

A two-alarm fire had broken out at the facility around 5 PM evening on Jan 30. According to firefighters, a 20-foot pile of metal was under fire. It took almost 10 hours for them to bring the fire under control. The cause of the fire is not known yet and is under investigation. A call to shelter-in-place was issued as heavy smoke from the fire surrounded nearby areas.

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