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N. Dakota legislature enacts new scrap regulations early

Keywords: Tags  scrap legislation, ferrous scrap, nonferrous scrap, metals recyclers, North Dakota legislature, Wayne Stenehjem, Lisa Gordon

PITTSBURGH — New laws aimed at stemming metals theft in North Dakota are now in effect, putting a cap on cash payments and requiring recyclers to boost their record-keeping.

"As the price of certain metals has surged, we have seen a dramatic increase in both the number of thefts and the value of the stolen items," Wayne Stenehjem, the state’s attorney general, said in a statement.

The laws were initially scheduled to take effect Aug. 1, but the state legislature added an emergency clause to the bill that brought it into effect May 1.

Metals recyclers must start keeping written or electronic records on all ferrous or nonferrous transactions exceeding $25. Scrapyard employees must obtain a copy of the seller’s identification, as well as include such details as a description of the load and how much the customer was paid. The records must be retained for seven years.

The record-keeping rules don’t apply to purchases from government agencies, other metals recyclers or industrial customers. Wrecked cars also are exempt.

Purchases from industrial wire scrap generators, such as cable companies, also are exempt from the record-keeping requirements, but sellers must provide written evidence of ownership.

All payments in excess of $1,000 must be made by check or electronic transfer.

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