Councilman announces deal with ‘car crusher’ to end neighborhood noise

car crusher Scrap Metal SPC Corp. must hire inspectors to prevent explosive materials from entering the crusher. Credit: Mark Buckawicki

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson will attend a town hall meeting in Packer Park on Tuesday evening to announce an agreement he says will end excessive noise, vibrations and explosions local residents experience due to nearby metal recycling plant SPC Corp. –also known as “the car crusher.”

Johnson in January led a rally to stop the noise and explosions he said have impacted the area’s quality of life, causing residents’ homes to shake when cars are crushed at the metal recycling plant, located at 2600 Pennrose Ave.

According to a copy of the consent agreement between the city and SPC Corp, Philadelphia Air Management Services between Nov. 2012 and March 2013 received more than 33 complaints of explosions emanating from SPC Corp.

AMS officials conducted surveillance of the plant and, between Jan. 25 and Feb. 7, observed 10 “explosive events” resulting from process upsets with the facility’s shredder, records state.

The city in late February cited SPC for failing to report nine of the 10 explosive events observed, as well as for failing to install and maintain several water management systems required to operate the facility’s shredder.

The consent agreement states SPC will beginning this fall be required to have a minimum of three quality insurance personnel to inspect all incoming scrap metal loads and reject all potentially explosive materials, as well as three inspectors to remove any potentially explosive materials loaded into the shredder feed chute.

The company is also required to install several new equipment systems and retain both environmental and acoustic consultants to evaluate the systems’ efficacy, and to design a full enclosure around the shredder to both reduce noise and shield surrounding properties from debris.

Plans for the enclosure are due to the city by Oct. 1.

SPC Corp. is also required to pay the city $12,470 to reimburse AMS officials for investigatory costs, as well as $6,530 in civil penalties.

The company will in the future face penalties of $1,500 per violation per day for not complying with the terms of the consent agreement, $500 for any violation of the city Noise and Vibration Code, and $3,000 for any failure to report fires or explosions at the facility’s shredder.

Johnson, along with representatives from the city’s health and law departments, will on Tuesday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. be at Saint Richard’s Hall, located at 3010 S. 18th St., to provide details of the deal to residents of The Reserve, The Villas, The Regency at Packer Park, The Enclaves, Sienna Place and Packer Park.

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