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New scrap metal laws

Posted on Monday, July 9, 2012 at 11:29 am

Effective July 1, all scrap metal dealers and any locations used by the dealers to purchase, deal or engage in the scrap metal business must be registered with the Department of Commerce and Insurance’s Scrap Metals Registration Program, according to a department news release.

In the past, dealers were only required to have one registration, regardless of the number of locations they operated. This new law requires that all dealers register all locations with the department.

The passage of Senate Bill 2985/PC 969, also gives the commissioner of Commerce and Insurance the authority to investigate complaint matters involving unregistered scrap metal activity as well as the authorized sale of certain metals.

The penalty for violations could be up to $1,000 per violation and the suspension or revocation of a scrap metal registration. Other new scrap metal regulations via SB2895:

Attempting to sell or purchase scrap metal related to a public utility or government-owned property will be a Class A misdemeanor unless the value of the metal or the cost to repair any damage exceeds $500, in which case it shall be a Class E felony punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000.

The commissioner will be required to investigate any written complaint of unregistered activity or violations of the restrictions on the purchase and sale of certain metals originating in public utilities or government owned property such as access covers, street light poles and fixtures, highway or street signs, water meter covers, street lamps and historical markers and graves.

The commissioner will have the right to inspect without a warrant or subpoena any purchased scrap metal in the possession of the dealer and any records required by the dealer.

It will be an offense to engage in the business of buying scrap metal without registering as a scrap metal dealer or falsely registering.

The commissioner may deny an application, take disciplinary action against a registrant or refuse to renew upon a finding that the registrant or applicant has been found guilty of a violation involving the purchase or sale of certain metals involving public utilities or government-owned property.

Further information regarding the program changes is available by calling (615) 741-1741.

The Scrap Metals Registration Program is a regulatory board housed within the Department of Commerce and Insurance, which works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee.