Major Auto Shredders 
         and 
   Metal Recyclers 
     in California:
 




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Metal Shredding Facilities and Wastes (Implementation of SB 1249)

What is a Metal Shredding Facility?
What is Metal Shredder Waste?
Non-Hazardous Waste Classification Was Granted
What is the intent of SB 1249?
What does SB 1249 require DTSC to do?

PROJECT UPDATES
DTSC is currently completing the environmental evaluation and analysis required by SB 1249. DTSC is reviewing data collected during air sampling events at metal shredding facilities, and is evaluating the analytical results of samples collected during the waste treatability study. DTSC anticipates presenting its Environmental Analysis and Report of Findings to stakeholders in early 2017.

OVERVIEW
In 2011, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) initiated an evaluation of metal shredding facilities to ensure that their treatment of metal shredder waste for subsequent disposal in solid (nonhazardous) waste landfills was fully protective of human health and the environment. To accomplish this, DTSC requested that five major metal-shredding facilities develop (and ultimately implement) a treatability study work plan that: (1) identified the composition and characteristics of metal shredder waste currently being generated, (2) demonstrated the effectiveness of their current (chemical) treatment methods of metal shredder waste; and (3) evaluated and ultimately identified new treatment methods of metal shredder waste as an alternative to their current treatment methods.

To view this industry treatability study work plan and developed from this evaluation process please click here.

As DTSC was working with the metal shredding facilities on their treatability study, Senate Bill (SB) 1249 was introduced in the California Legislature by Senator Hill, based in part on concerns about metal shredder safety due to recent fires at metal shredding facilities in his district, but also in response to the historic concerns about metal shredding facilities, their potential impact on the environment, and DTSC's past decisions. The provisions of SB 1249 were negotiated with the industry and DTSC and in September 2014, the California legislature enacted SB 1249 (Hill, Chapter 756, Statutes of 2014) requiring metal shredding facilities be thoroughly evaluated and regulated by DTSC to ensure adequate protection of human health and the environment. The law can be found in Health and Safety Code, Division 20, Chapter 6.5, Article 5, sections 25150.82, 25150.84, and 25150.86.

It is DTSC's intention to incorporate all information related to the treatability study acquired through the initial evaluation of metal shredding facilities started in 2011 into the evaluation process now required of DTSC under SB 1249.




What is a Metal Shredding Facility?
California law defines a "metal shredding facility" as an operation that uses a shredding technique to process end-of-life vehicles, appliances, and other forms of scrap metal to facilitate the separation and sorting of ferrous metals, nonferrous metals, and other recyclable materials from non-recyclable materials. A "metal shredding facility" does not include a feeder yard, a metal crusher, or a metal baler, if that facility does not otherwise conduct metal shredding operations.   



What is Metal Shredder Waste?

The shredding of scrap metal (e.g., end-of-life vehicles) results in a mixture of recyclable materials (e.g., ferrous metals and nonferrous metals) and non-recyclable material (i.e., metal shredder waste). Aggregate is generated after the initial separation of ferrous metals, and consists of nonferrous metals which can be further recovered and metal shredder waste. Metal shredder waste consists mainly of glass, fiber, rubber, automobile fluids, dirt and plastics found in automobiles and household appliances that remain after the recyclable metals have been removed. (See Figure 1)

Because scrap metal contains regulated hazardous constituents it can contaminate and ultimately cause metal shredder waste to exhibit a characteristic of hazardous waste for toxicity. In a 2002 draft report on auto shredder waste, DTSC showed that metal shredder waste often exceeded the soluble threshold limit concentrations (STLCs) for lead, cadmium and zinc using the Waste Extraction Test (WET) method and the total threshold limit concentration (TTLC) for lead, copper and zinc.

 Shredder_diagram



Non-Hazardous Waste Classification Was Granted
Based on the hazardous characteristics of metal shredder waste, in many instances, metal shredding facilities are hazardous waste generators thus subject to hazardous waste requirements, including permitting, transportation and disposal. In the late 80's, in an effort to relieve metal shredding facilities of these requirements, the Department of Health Services (DHS) (predecessor of the Department of Toxic Substances Control) determined that the metal treatment fixation technologies were capable of lowering the soluble concentrations of metal shredder waste such that the treated metal shredder waste was rendered insignificant as a hazard to human health and safety, livestock and wildlife. Seven metal shredding facilities applied for and were granted nonhazardous waste classification letters by DHS and later DTSC if they used the metal treatment fixation technologies. The authority to issue these classifications is found in subdivision (f) of Section 66260.200 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, and these determinations are now known as "f letters." These classifications ultimately allowed treated metal shredder waste to be handled, transported and disposed of as nonhazardous waste in class III landfills (i.e., solid (nonhazardous) waste landfills). (See Figure 1) 



What is the intent of SB 1249?
Based on DTSC's 2002 draft report on auto shredder waste, numerous enforcement cases, accidents, and other issues related to metal shredding activities, the legislature passed SB 1249 with the intent that the conditional nonhazardous waste classifications, as documented through the historical "f letters," be revoked and that metal shredding facilities be thoroughly evaluated and regulated to ensure adequate protection of the human health and the environment. 



What does SB 1249 require DTSC to do?

·To conduct a comprehensive evaluation of metal shredding facilities and metal shredder waste

·To determine if alternative management standards specific to metal shredding facilities could be developed to ensure that the management, treatment and disposal practices related to metal shredder waste are protective of human health and the environment

·To prepare an analysis of activities to which the alternative standards will apply and to make it available to the public before any regulations are adopted

·To adopt regulations establishing alternative management standards for metal shredding facilities (if necessary)

·To adopt emergency regulations establishing a fee schedule to reimburse the department's costs for the evaluation, analysis, and regulatory development for metal shredding facilities (if necessary)

 

DTSC Timeline and Work Plan to Implement SB 1249

In January 2015 DTSC developed a three-year Work Plan to implement SB 1249.The Work Plan includes:

Treatability Study Demonstration
DTSC worked with industry to develop a Treatability Study on metal shredder wastes to demonstrate the highest level of treatment that can be achieved with the current technology. The results of the Treatability Study will allow DTSC to evaluate the treatment processes and chemicals needed to immobilize soluble toxic metals in the waste, and to determine what treatment methods and chemical formulations yield the most protective results. The Treatability study includes bench-scale testing to determine the optimal mix of stabilization reagents, followed by full-scale demonstration to show the reliability and reproducibility of the waste treatment process. (See additional information on the Treatability Study Demonstration here:)

Assessment of Off-Site Migration of Air Emissions
DTSC's environmental evaluation includes an assessment of the potential for treated or untreated metal shredder waste to migrate off-site and impact residents or business occupants in the areas surrounding metal shredding facilities and landfills that accept metal shredder waste. DTSC is arranging for air sampling to be conducted at several metal shredding facilities and landfills that accept metal shredder waste. (See additional information on the Assessment of Off-Site Migration of Air Emissions here:)

Environmental Analysis and Report of Findings
DTSC will prepare an Environmental Analysis and Report of Findings on its evaluation of the metal shredding industry, the treatment of the wastes it generates, and the storage, transportation, and disposal of those wastes. The evaluation will include the results of industry's Treatability Study and the Assessment of Off-Site Migration of Air Emissions. DTSC intends to complete the Environmental Analysis and prepare a Draft Report of Findings by early 2017. 

Stakeholder Outreach
DTSC continues to have regular and ongoing dialogue with key stakeholders including representatives from industry trade associations, the regulated community, Cal EPA and its boards, departments and office, local government agencies, the media, and with concerned members of the public. DTSC welcomes and continues to accept comments from all stakeholders on SB 1249 Implementation activities and on potential decisions regarding regulations to establish alternative management standards for this industry.

It is important for DTSC to share the results of its evaluation with all stakeholders and to seek input and feedback to help guide DTSC's subsequent regulatory efforts. DTSC intends to conduct public workshops to present its findings and to solicit feedback in Northern California and in Southern California in early 2017. (To be added to DTSC's Metal Shredder Stakeholder list click here:)