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EPA finds a St. Louis scrap metal facility illegally polluted the Mississippi

The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, while on the Mississippi River.
Brian Munoz
St. Louis Public Radio
The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, while on the Mississippi River.

The owner of a St. Louis scrap metal facility is on the hook for around $100,000 to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a fine against SA Recycling last week, finding the company failed to adequately control stormwater runoff from a south St. Louis scrap metal and recycling processing site right next to the Mississippi River.

The EPA found SA Recycling stored scrap metal, gas cans and other waste material in a way that could transport them into the river during a rain event, resulting in an illegal discharge of pollution into the Mississippi. The agency also alleges SA Recycling had unmarked places where water from the facility could discharge into the river.

“Uncontrolled runoff from industrial facilities not only harms streams and rivers, but it also limits the public’s use and enjoyment of those waters,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance division.

SA Recycling has committed to correcting the violations through a consent agreement reached with the EPA. The agency estimates it will cost about $44,000 to make the necessary changes.

SA Recycling will also pay $68,000 in civil penalties.

“This settlement demonstrates EPA’s commitment to protecting vital watersheds, especially in areas overburdened by pollution, and creating a level playing field with businesses who are complying with the law,” Cozad said.

SA Recycling could not immediately be reached for comment.

Copyright 2023 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit St. Louis Public Radio.

Eric Schmid covers the Metro East area in Illinois for St. Louis Public Radio. He joins the news team as its first Report for America corps member and is tasked with expanding KWMU's coverage east from the Mississippi. Before joining St. Louis Public Radio, Eric held competitive internships at Fox News Channel, NPR-affiliate WSHU Public Radio and AccuWeather. As a news fellow at WSHU's Long Island Bureau, he covered governments and environmental issues as well as other general assignments. Eric grew up in Northern Colorado but attended Stony Brook University, in New York where he earned his degree in journalism in 2018. He is an expert skier, avid reader and lifelong musician-he plays saxophone and clarinet.
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