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Sims’ Redwood site makes changes after fire

Keywords: Tags  Sims Metal Management, Redwood City facility, scrap metal fire, Jeffrey Gee, scrap, shredder feed, shredded scrap, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — Sims Metal Management Ltd. has complied with local government requests for the scrap company to staff its Redwood, Calif., facility around the clock.

The company also will no longer leave unprocessed shredder feed stockpiles at the facility overnight.

The City of Redwood met with Sims officials Dec. 18 following a fire at the Redwood facility a day earlier to "outline a number of conditions to follow in order to remain operating on port property over the next two months," the city said. The facility had also experienced a fire Nov. 10, a Sims spokeswoman said.

Sims has agreed to all the requests made by the city effective immediately, the company said Dec. 23.

"We will staff the facility 24/7 with our own employees, maintain adequate capacity in our stormwater retention ponds and allow the city into the facility at any time to verify our adherence to their requests," Sims said.

"The two recent fires occurred after operating hours at the shredder in-feed scrap stockpiles. At the end of each workday, we will ‘shred to the ground.’ This means that when we complete the shredder production shift, there will be no in-feed stockpiles of unprocessed scrap metal at the facility," Sims said.

"To ensure we achieve this goal, we reduced the latest acceptable delivery time for receiving scrap metal. By doing this we provide sufficient time to process through the shredder all the scrap received that day. No fires will be able to ignite after hours in shredder in-feed stockpiles because there will be no shredder in-feed stockpiles at that time," it added.

Sims has also been mandated to immediately notify the city if it falls below the minimum staffing requirement of "three qualified operators," and halt operations in such an event. The city also reserved the right to review the qualifications of all operators, contractors and subcontracts at the facility upon request.

"As long as they comply with the city’s requests, other regulatory agencies allow them to remain open and there are no new issues that arise in the next 60 days, the city will not pursue our options for halting their operation. During this period, the city in collaboration with regional authorities, will evaluate the short- and long-term future of Sims in Redwood City," Jeffrey Gee, Redwood’s mayor, said in a Dec. 23 press conference.

The city will collaborate with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate Sims’ operations.

Sims will also conduct outreach meetings with the local community in 2014 to directly address concerns, the company said.

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