PITTSBURGH In an effort to discourage metal thefts, a Maryland state legislator has introduced emergency legislation that would ban scrap metal recyclers from purchasing copper wire that has had its insulation burned or stripped away.
The bill, which does not make exceptions for certified electricians in the state that strip their own scrap wire before selling it as a way to maximize payments from a recycler, was introduced by Sen. Richard Colburn. He could not be reached for comment.
The legislation is intended to discourage metal thieves from stripping identifying ownership marks from stolen wire before selling it to recyclers.
The Maryland Department of the Environment has indicated that unsophisticated burning of wire insulation releases contaminants into the air and poses a risk of uncontrolled fires, according to a note attached to the bill. Maryland recycled 694,000 tons of scrap metal in 2012, according to the note.