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Mass. mulls scrap metal bill with 10-day hold

Nov 27, 2013 | 09:53 AM | Daniel Fitzgerald

Tags  Massachusetts bill, scrap metal law, scrap metal purchases, scrap theft, Therese Murray, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, ISRI, Philip Kasden House Committee on Ways and Means


NEW YORK — Massachusetts is considering a state Senate bill that would place a 10-day hold on scrap metal purchases worth more than $250.

However, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ New England chapter is hopeful that a less restrictive House bill will instead end up passing.

The bill was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means after passing the Senate about a week ago and would require scrap metal dealers to retain a photograph and description of each piece of metal with a market value of more than $250. All of the seller and object information would have to be forwarded to a criminal history systems board within 48 hours. Dealers would then be required to hold the object for 10 days after the information has been submitted.

Dealers would also be required to keep transaction records for two years, while the bill also explicitly bans the purchase of items such as street signs, manhole covers or any copper wire where the insulation has been burned or stripped away.

"The stealing of secondary metals is a significant problem in our cities and towns, and without the necessary identification procedures and retention requirements there are no safeguards for both the victims and reputable secondary metal dealers," Massachusetts Senate president Therese Murray (D., Plymouth) said in a statement.

However, ISRI’s New England chapter has said that the Senate bill would "negatively regulate" the state’s scrap recycling industry.

The association and its members have been collaborating with state legislators on a House bill that would exclude some of the more burdensome provisions of the Senate bill, chapter president Philip W. Kasden told AMM.

"There have been productive communications with legislators in the Massachusetts House that support our position, which stresses a willingness to partner with law enforcement as an effective part of the metals theft solution. Our discussions also have informed lawmakers about the economic necessities of crafting legislation that allows scrap facilities to operate efficiently," he said. "We are hopeful that those supporters will be submitting shortly a more acceptable bill without tag and hold or the forfeiture penalties and that the House bill, or some variant thereof, has a much stronger chance of passing both chambers."




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