VIDEO: Richmond scrap yard cited in fire that released cancer-causing chemical into air


RICHMOND (KRON) — The Bay Area Air Quality Management district has cited a Richmond scrap metal facility over last week’s fire.

And this is not the first time the company has violated air district regulations.

Sims Metal Management, which owns the Richmond scrapyard where a fire broke out last Tuesday, has been issued two notices of violation by the air district.

The first for creating a public nuisance and the second is for the fire itself.

“Any sort of fire of that kind is not allowed and certainly one that creates that kind of pollution and that kind of black smoke that went into the air that day,” Bay Area Air Quality Management District spokesman Tom Flannigan said.

Air samples collected have already found high levels of particulates and the cancer-causing chemical benzene, which was three times over the safe limit in Point Richmond and 40 times over the safe limit across the street from the facility.

The cause of blaze has yet to be determined, but if the company is found to have violated any regulations, additional violations and penalties could follow

“We’ll be looking at negligence,” Flannigan said. “For example, if that was the case in this situation, we’ll be looking at practices we put into place to make sure they were doing everything they could to prevent this fire.”

This is not Sims Metal Management’s first run-in with the air district.

In November and December of 2013, fires broke out at their Redwood City facility.

Violations were issued for both fires.

If the recycling firm is found not to have followed proper procedures, either before the fire or during the fire, the air district can also institute a list of corrective actions to prevent this from happening again.



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