EPA report lethal to copper recycling plants

Dec 04, 2006 | 02:49 PM | Paul Schaffer

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report on dioxin emissions suggests that secondary copper smelters in the United States, if they hadn't succumbed to China's appetite for U.S. scrap, would have been doomed by tightened federal emission regulations in any event.

The agency has been increasingly rigorous in dealing with airborne dioxins, and has imposed substantial penalties on about a dozen secondary aluminum smelters in the Midwest in the past two years.

But copper recycling smelters were the worst dioxin offenders among all manufacturers in the country, according to data contained in the report. Furnaces in that industry accounted for 8 percent of all U.S. dioxin emissions in 1995, including those from non-industrial activity.....

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