Schnitzer Steel Settles Environmental Violation Claims at Oakland
US media reported that Portland based scrap metal recycler Schnitzer Inc will pay USD 4.1 million to settle a lawsuit by Alameda County and the State of
US media reported that Portland based scrap metal recycler Schnitzer Inc will pay USD 4.1 million to settle a lawsuit by Alameda County and the State of California alleging the company allowed hazardous waste to pollute surrounding areas of West Oakland and the Oakland Estuary in California. The settlement will resolve claims that Schnitzer Steel violated emissions rules and failed to adequately warn the community about lead and cadmium exposure from the facility in Oakland. The settlement also requires Schnitzer to significantly change its operations to protect the health of Oakland residents and the environment, including the installation of air filtration system at a cost of nearly USD 1.9 million to cut emissions by 98%.
Schnitzer Steel also agrees to
—Update its metal shredding and recycling practices to protect the health of Oakland residents and the environment
—Maintain enclosures over its metal shredding operations
—Install equipment to abate air emissions
—Continue to remove visible accumulations of hazardous light fibrous material
—Stop accepting, treating, and storing hazardous waste that is generated offsite
—Provide warnings to individuals who live or work nearby that the facility can expose them to hazardous chemicals
Funding from the settlement will also pay for investments in environment projects in West Oakland.
Investigators and scientists collected dozens of samples of light fibrous material exceeding regulatory limits for lead, copper, and zinc from businesses, health offices, the Oakland Estuary, and other areas within a half mile of the Schnitzer Steel location. Since 2018, here have been at least five fires involving hazardous waste at the facility
Last fall, the air district settled an agreement with Schnitzer that requires it to install equipment to reduce its emissions by the end of 2022 and pay a USD 500,000 fine.
Schnitzer is a global leader in the metals recycling industry. Founded in 1906, it collects, process and recycle raw scrap metal, ferrous and nonferrous, and provide processed scrap metal to mills and foundries around the world.