Scrap metal legislation advances

TRENTON – The Assembly Regulated Professions Committee released bill A3222, which requires scrap metal businesses to maintain, for at least five years, a record of all receipts or purchases of scrap metal.

The bill passed 4-1, with two abstentions.

The bill revises the current law, which requires such records be kept for materials that are at least 100 pounds or carry a value of  at least $50.

This bill also requires that scrap metal businesses make payment to any person delivering or selling scrap metal only by non-transferable check made payable to that person.

The bill requires scrap metal businesses to send copies of all records maintained pursuant to law to the appropriate law enforcement agency at the close of each business day.  Under the bill, scrap metal businesses may accept delivery of scrap metal by motor vehicle only, and must record the license plate number of any motor vehicle which is used to deliver scrap metal.

Assemblyman Angel Fuentes, (D-5), a sponsor of the bill, said the bill is not intended to make scrap metal dealers’ lives harder. Rather, it’s to prevent thieves who sell stolen copper and make a killing.

He said Camden wanted to pass an ordinance concerning this issue, after hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of copper was stolen. However, he believed the subject is a big one and a law should be passed statewide.

“This issue is really prevalent throughout the state of New Jersey,” he said. “We support scrap metal businesses. We want to prevent thieves from taking advantage.”

The New Jersey Association of Electrical Contractors supports the bill.

Amendments were added to the bill asking for additional identification of the business selling the scrap metal, photographs of the scrap metal, and a copy of the license plate of the car that delivered the materials.