Recycling Today June 2021 / by Earl W. Phillips, Jonathan H. Schaefer and Brian C. Freeman / Read original article

Regulators, as well as activists and environmental groups, are paying close attention to auto shredding operations and their air emissions.

The sometimes-uncomfortable intersection of shredder operations, related air emissions and environmental justice (EJ) regulations is not new. But this issue is receiving significant new scrutiny from federal, state and local environmental regulators, as well as from neighborhood activists and environmental groups.

Operators of recycling facilities that shred automobiles and other metal goods need to be aware of these developments, the underlying legal framework and the shifting political climate. These factors have a very real potential to critically affect facility construction and operation and could lead to facility modifications.

Focusing on environmental justice

The drumbeat is unmistakable. Less than a week after taking office, President Biden issued a multifaceted executive order to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a host of federal agencies “to secure environmental justice and equitable economic opportunity.” At the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ (ISRIs) Convention & Exposition, ISRI2021, an online event hosted April 20-22 and April 27-29, the director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice urged scrap processors to proactively engage with local communities, leadership and activist groups before complaints are made or permit applications for construction or expansion are filed.

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