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Okla. scrap law would require licensing

Keywords: Tags  scrap metal legislation, Oklahoma recyclers, licensing, Lisa Gordon

PITTSBURGH — Oklahoma metal recyclers could face a laundry list of tightened regulations if legislators adopt proposed changes to the state’s existing scrap law.

Lawmakers are considering an update to the Oklahoma Scrap Metal Dealers Act that would prohibit cash payments of more than $1,000 and for the first time require dealers to be licensed.

Oklahoma already has a lengthy scrap metal law in place, but the proposal would require recyclers to obtain a scrap metal dealer license from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, the same agency that oversees the inspection of truck scales.

In order to get a license, a facility would have to prove that it has a valid environmental permit as well as liability insurance. Recyclers caught operating without a license would face a fine of up to $500 a day.

One major recycler in the state told AMM that other large players welcome the proposed changes because they would weed out illegal operations.

"We noticed that when the law came out in 2007 that it just moved part of the recycling business underground to rural guys who don’t carry a license and recycle illegally," another metal recycler said. "We do everything right, only to have our business taken elsewhere."

The initial one-year licensing fee would be $200, with half of the amount earmarked for processing the application and the other half for an investigation into whether a license should be issued. The state would conduct criminal backgrounds checks on all applicants.

A first reading of the bill is scheduled for Feb. 4. If passed, the new rules would go into effect Nov. 1.

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