A CRT glass processor operating in Arizona and Ohio has received a notice of violation from state environmental officials, but company representatives say a plan will be worked out to ensure glass moves downstream.
In the official notice of violation (NOV) dated Oct. 6 and obtained by E-Scrap News, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) lists four violations found during an inspection two months earlier at the Phoenix facility of Closed Loop Refining and Recovery.
Three of the four violations note lapses in the labeling and storage of “lead contaminated debris” on the premises of Closed Loop’s site. The most significant finding, however, appears to be the last of the four violations, which indicates that inspectors believe Closed Loop is in violation of the U.S. EPA’s CRT Rule.
“[Closed Loop] failed to obtain a hazardous waste storage permit, recycle or transfer to a different site for recycling, at least 75 percent by weight or volume of the amount of the processed leaded CRT glass during the calendar year,” the notice reads, adding that “ADEQ compliance officers observed processed leaded CRT glass that had been accumulating onsite for three years.”
The CRT Rule requires firms recycle 75 percent of their glass inventory by year’s end, unless they’re provided with a variance to be temporarily exempt from that requirement. According to EPA compliance records, ADEQ had not conducted a “compliance evaluation inspection” on the Phoenix facility since May of 2011.
In the October report, ADEQ is careful to point out that Closed Loop has “the opportunity to do any of the following before ADEQ takes formal enforcement action: (1) meet with ADEQ and discuss the facts surrounding the violation, (2) demonstrate to ADEQ that no violation has occurred, or (3) document that the violation has been corrected.”
David Cauchi, Closed Loop’s CEO, said the company was “working directly” with environmental officials in Arizona to set up a plan of action to send material downstream. While that plan has not been finalized, Cauchi said it would likely contain “measurables” requiring a certain amount of glass gets shipped each month or quarter.
“They just want to see that glass is moving downstream,” Cauchi said.
ADEQ communications director Mark Shaffer told E-Scrap News, “ADEQ issued Closed Loop an NOV on Oct. 3 and we have had discussions with them before and after the NOV.”
The leaded glass, according to Cauchi, will eventually make its way to the company’s Ohio facility, where a much-discussed furnace is slated to go live in 2015. “Best case scenario, we’re looking at June 2015; worst case scenario, we’re looking at October 2015,” Cauchi stated.
That furnace will aim to de-lead CRT funnel glass and recover both lead and glass as separate and marketable recycled commodities.
In a follow-up conversation with Cauchi and the company’s chief operating officer, Brent Benham, E-Scrap News learned that Closed Loop is in the preliminary stages of seeking a variance in Ohio. Cauchi and Benham asserted even if that variance is granted, the Closed Loop furnace would begin processing leaded glass next year.
Approximately 22,000 tons of leaded glass are stored in Arizona, Cauchi and Benham said, while another 8,000 tons of leaded glass will be in Ohio by year’s end.
According to Benham, Closed Loop has been amassing leaded glass instead of sending it downstream for recycling elsewhere because the company is trying to collect sufficient feedstock for its furnace. “We’re building a furnace and we need feedstock for that,” Benham said.
According to Cuachi and Benham, the Ohio furnace will be able to process about 18,000 tons of leaded glass per year, or 1,500 tons per month.