New Connecticut Law Places Additional Burdens on Scrap Metal Industry
Violation Can Result in Criminal Action Against Business Owner
Starting October 1, 2014, a modification to Connecticut law regarding the scrap metal industry will place new burdens on scrap metal processors. Replacing Section 21-11a of the Connecticut General Statutes, the bill entitled “An Act Concerning Scrap Metal Sold On Behalf of Municipalities” is aimed at preventing the unauthorized sale of municipal property.
What will now be section (e) of the law, states that “no scrap metal processor…may purchase or receive property from a municipality unless the person delivering such property presents at the time of delivery a letter from the chief executive officer on the letterhead of such municipality authorizing such purchase or receipt” and “send any moneys paid for such municipal property to the chief executive officer of the municipality by first class mail.”
This law seems to make perfect sense. It is aimed at stopping the theft of municipal property, that is then scrapped for the financial benefit of the thief, and has to be replaced at a cost to tax payers. But what does it mean for the scrap metal processors?
If an item is brought for scrapping that reasonably seems to belong to a municipal department, for example a guard rail, they must request a letter from the chief of that department, for example the transportation department. If the vehicle delivering such scrap is a municipal vehicle, they must request a letter from the chief of that department which is marked on the vehicle.
Failure to request the authorization letters can result in criminal penalty. The first offense is a Class C misdemeanor, second offense is a Class B misdemeanor, and the third and any subsequent offense is a Class A misdemeanor. In Connecticut, a Class C misdemeanor is punishable by up to 3 months in prison and/or up to a $500 fine, a Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 6 months in prison and/or up to a $1000 fine, and a Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to 1 year in prison and/or up to a $2000 fine.
The law also keeps all of the old requirements for the scrap metal industry, including:
- Recording a description for all loads of scrap metal purchased;
- Recording the weight of such metal;
- Record the price paid for such metal;
- Record the identification of the person delivering such metal;
- Take a photograph of the motor vehicle delivering such metal;
- Take a photograph of the license plate of the vehicle delivering such scrap metal.
- Maintain such records in good condition for no less than two years;
- Make the records open to inspection by law enforcement officers upon request during business hours
- Notify the local law enforcement of any person trying to sell a bronze statue, plaque, historical marker, cannon, cannon ball, bell, lamp, lighting fixture, lamp post, architectural artifact or similar item; and
- Not take in any keg with markings of ownership by anyone other than the person delivering it.
The punishment for violating any of these other requirements is identical to those for buying municipal scrap without proper authorization.
The requirements by this law increase the administration and fill storage costs of metal scrappers, affecting their bottom line, as well as the amounts of money they are willing to pay for scrap metal. Will these requirements meet the intended purpose of preventing unauthorized sale of municipal property? Only time will tell. In the mean time, owners of scrap metal processing stations need to educate their employees and have set procedures for the intake of scrap metal. Failure to do so could have drastic consequences.
A copy of the Bill that is to become this new law can be found here: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2014/TOB/H/2014HB-05506-R00-HB.htm