By RACHEL DOVE-BALDWIN
CHARLESTON - Senate Bill 528 became a law effective within the State of West Virginia on June 10, which puts into play new rules and regulations that will govern scrap metal sales from a business owner’s perspective as well as the seller.
The term scrap metal in this bill includes any form of copper, aluminum, brass, lead or other nonferrous metal of any kind, a catalytic converter or any materials derived from a catalytic converter, or steel railroad track and track material.
With the passing of WV S.B. 528, a scrap metal dealer will be required to have a current valid business registration certificate with the WV Tax Commissioner; register any and all scales used for weighing scrap metal with the Division of Labor Weights and Measures office; provide a notice of recycling activity to the Dept. of Environmental Protection, and register as a scrap metal dealer with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s (S.O.S.) office.
The S.O.S. office is then directed to maintain a list of scrap metal dealers and make it publicly available. The list must include the dealer’s business address, hours of operation, physical address, phone number and fax number if applicable. The names of the owners or principal officers of the company must also be provided.
Any purchaser of scrap metal shall make a record of such purchase that contains the following information for each transaction:
• Full name, permanent home and business address and telephone number of the seller;
• A description of and the motor vehicle license number of any vehicle used to transport the purchased scrap metal to the place of the purchase;
• The time and date of the transaction;
• A complete description of the kind, character and weight of the scrap metal purchased;
• A statement of whether the scrap metal was purchased, taken as collateral for a loan or taken on consignment.
A purchaser also shall require and retain from the seller of the scrap metal a signed certificate of ownership of the material, along with a photocopy of the seller’s driver’s license or State I.D. card furnished by the WV Dept. of Motor Vehicles, or in lieu thereof, any other valid photo I.D. of the seller issued by another state or the federal government.
It is unlawful for any buyer to purchase any scrap metal without obtaining and recording the information required under subsections and of this section. The provisions of this subsection does not apply to purchases made at wholesale under contract or as a result of a bidding process provided that the purchaser retains and makes available for review consistent with subsection of the contract, bill of sale or similar documentation of the purchase made at wholesale under contract as a result of a bidding process.
No purchaser of scrap metal may knowingly buy or possess a stainless steel or aluminum beer keg, whether damaged or undamaged, or any recognizable part thereof, for the intended purpose of reselling as scrap metal unless the purchaser receives the keg or keg parts from the beer manufacturer or its authorized representative.
Using a form provided by the WVSP, or his or her own form, a purchaser of scrap metal shall retain the records required by this bill or their place of business for at minimum, 3 years from the date of purchase. These records must be made available for inspection by any law-enforcement officer or an investigator employed by a public utility or railroad to investigate the theft of public utility or railroad property may accompany a law enforcement officer upon the premises of a purchaser in the execution of a valid warrant, or assist law enforcement in the review of records required to be retained pursuant to these rules.
Upon the entry of a final determination and order by a court of competent jurisdiction, scrap metal found to have been misappropriated, stolen or taken under false pretenses may be returned to the proper owner.
Any person delivering 5 or more automobile catalytic converters to a scrap metal dealer, shall in addition to the requirements listed above, execute a document stating that he or she is the lawful owner of the vehicle parts or that they are authorized by the owner to sell them on their behalf. A fingerprint of the index finger and thumb in ink must be recorded next to the signature.
No scrap metal dealer may purchase, possess or receive any of the following items or scrap metal:
Utility access covers; street light poles or fixtures; road or bridge guard rails; water meter covers; highway or road signs; traffic directional or traffic control signs; traffic light signals; any metal marked with any form of the name or initials of a government entity; property marked or readily identifiable as owned by a telephone, cable, electric, water or other utility provider; property owned and marked by a railroad; cemetery markers or vases; historical markers; utility manhole covers and storm water grates; fire hydrants or fire hydrant caps or twisted pair copper communications wiring of 25 pair or greater in 19, 22, 24 or 26 gauge.