Chicago Metal Scrapper Sued For Alleged Emissions Violations

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago metal scrapper is being sued by the state of Illinois for allegedly violating state pollution codes with its emissions in the city's Pilsen neighborhood.

The lawsuit announced Friday by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul contends that Sims Metal Management failed an emissions capture test in May by allegedly capturing less than 50% of its emissions. That's well below its mandated emissions control requirements of at least 81%, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

“Sims’ actions created a public health risk by exposing the community to uncontrolled emissions from its facility,” Raoul said in a statement.

The company, which shreds and recycles vehicles, major appliances and other metals, processes those through a hammermill shredder that can release “volatile organic material into the environment,” Raoul said in his statement.

The lawsuit seeks to require Sims Metal Management to develop and implement a control system that will achieve an overall reduction in uncontrolled emissions of at least 81% from the shredder. The company will also be required to construct a control system to achieve emissions reduction compliance approved by the state.

Sims Metal Management said in a statement that “the emissions reading was fully compliant" with federal environmental guidelines.

Despite that, the company said it had agreed to work with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency “to favorably address this issue, modify our permit, and install the advanced controls for both particulates and volatile organic compounds."