Utah e-scrap firm hit by another fire

Utah e-scrap firm hit by another fire

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

July 17, 2014

Stone Castle Recycling, which has been mired in an ongoing back-and-forth with Utah state regulators, recently experienced its second fire of the year.

On July 8, a fire broke out at one of Stone Castle Recycling's e-scrap facilities, requiring firefighters from the area to work for 13 hours to put it out. The incident, which occurred at Stone Castle's Cedar City facility, was first reported by southwest Utah newspaper The Spectrum.

In March, a fire broke out at the company's Parowon facility, raising major environmental concerns and provoking the state to take a closer look at the company's three facilities — all of which were found to have significant regulatory and compliance holes.

Soon after the March blaze, environmental watchdog group, the Basel Action Network, issued a highly critical report on Stone Castles' operation.

Like the Parowon fire before it, the Cedar City incident is being investigated as a potential case of arson. No conclusions had been made as of July 16, Cedar City fire chief Paul Irons told E-Scrap News. An investigation at the Parowon site was inconclusive.

A May 22 letter from the Utah DEQ implored Stone Castle to provide an updated plan of operation at its Cedar City facility, citing "large amounts of CRT glass" at the location. DEQ officials, however, say no electronics were affected by this month's fire and that all CRT glass is housed in a separate building.

According to Stone Castle's website, the Cedar City facility at 1442 West Industrial Road accepts a wide range of materials other than electronics, including paper, glass and plastics. According to initial reports, the fire broke out inside the facility when materials went up in flames.

"It would be easier for me to put out a fire at the landfill than it is here," Cedar City's fire chief Irons told The Spectrum. "The garbage is just everywhere."

DEQ officials confirmed that the company has thus far failed to submit an updated plan of operation as of July 15. In a July 1 letter addressed to Stone Castle owner Anthony Stoddard and obtained by E-Scrap News, officials stipulate that Stone Castle had been asked to supply a new plan by June 27. The DEQ also requested Stone Castle clean up its Parowon facility by September 30, among other demands.

The letter notes these requests have been made taking into account the "limited resources" available to Stone Castle.

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