Allens Avenue scrap metal recyclers charged by DEM

TWO ALLENS Avenue scrap metal recyclers, including Rhode Island Recycled Metals (above) have been charged with pollution violations by the R.I. Department of Environmental Management.
Posted 5/14/12

(Updated, 5:30 p.m.)

PROVIDENCE – Two Allens Avenue scrap metal recyclers have been ordered to close down by the R.I. Department of Environmental Management for allegedly operating without proper permits.

Both businesses, Sims Metal Management and Rhode Island Recycled Metals, have the right to appeal the violations and both were open for business Monday despite the orders, which were issued Friday.

A spokesman for Sims, which includes the former Promet Marine shipyard at 242 Allens Ave., said the company “strongly disagrees with RIDEM’s decision” and “firmly believes that this [notice of violation] does not accurately reflect the situation at our facility.”

DEM accused Rhode Island Recycled Metals, which has been a repeated target of environmental group Save The Bay this year, of not receiving the proper permits to salvage automobiles or dismantle a variety of marine vessels at its waterfront site at 434 Allens Ave.

The charges accuse Rhode Island Recycled Metals of failing to install required stormwater runoff controls and of having oil leaks staining the ground of their property.

The violation comes with a $46,250 fine and orders Rhode Island Recycled Metals to stop all car crushing, stop receiving new scrap metal, new derelict vessels or automobiles and to install pollution containment boom in the river around the property.

The company is ordered to remove all scrap metal from its property within 60 days.

Sims Metal Management, which purchased Promet Marine Services last October, is accused by DEM of failing to transfer the old business’ stormwater permit and apply for a new permit to expand operations into scrap metal recycling.

The facility at 242 Allens Ave. is now Sims principal New England scrap metal export terminal.

The DEM violation notice, which carries a $25,000 fine, orders Sims to stop receiving any new scrap metal at the site or accept new ship repair jobs, and to remove any scrap metal from the facility within 60 days.

Sims Spokesman Daniel Strechay called the violations a “misunderstanding” and said the company believes it was in compliance and had built a $1 million wall around the scrap metal facility as part of its stormwater controls.

“We believe that this misunderstanding will be resolved in the very near future and that Sims took the appropriate steps to operate its business within the requirements of the state’s storm water program,” Strechay said. “The company has invested in the appropriate storm water control technology, and has implemented rigorous environmental controls and protocols since [it bought the Promet site.]”

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