06-25-2012

Beshear signs bill to tighten oversight of metal recyclers

Kentucky Press News Service

LOUISVILLE – Metal recyclers in Kentucky will soon be required to register and keep records of their purchases under legislation sponsored by Rep. Tanya Pullin which becomes law July 12.

During a ceremonial signing of House Bill 390 Monday at the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Third Division, Gov. Steve Beshear said the bill will ensure that recyclers are not inadvertently receiving stolen metal such as copper, brass, aluminum, bronze, lead or zinc.

“What Rep. Pullin has put into place is a statute that will give our Kentucky State Police the ability to track not only sellers of stolen metals, but those who knowingly purchase those metals, many times after Kentuckians have been victimized by the vandalizing of home and business air conditioning units or other sources of these metals,” Beshear said in a statement released by his office. “This will make it much more difficult for metal thieves to operate in the Commonwealth.”

HB 390 requires a registry for second metal recyclers, which will be administered by the Office of Occupations and Professions in the Public Protection Cabinet. That registry will require applicants to pay the Kentucky State Police for conducting background checks. The legislation also limits payments for restricted metals to be done by check or electronic bank transfer rather than cash. It also requires the registry to keep records of restricted metal purchases such as manhole covers, guardrails, traffic signs, etc., and makes those records available to law enforcement at all times. Additionally, HB 390 recommends the creation of a Recyclable Metals Theft Prevention Working Group.

“House Bill 390 takes an innovative approach to curb metal theft by removing much of the incentive of quick cash for stolen metals,” Pullin said. “Recyclers, in particular, have worked with us and law enforcement to put a dent in metal theft.”

Once the regulations have been finalized, second metals recyclers will be required to submit to a name-based background check and receive a certificate of registration from O&P within 60 days of the effective date of the regulations.