The scrap iron industry is on the verge of collapse says the TT Scrap Iron Dealers Association as their licenses to operate have been delayed due to a new requirement from the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) for a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC).
At a media conference at Signature Hall, Longdenville, Chaguanas on Monday, association president Allan Ferguson said they were informed about the new requirement in late December 2018 although several prior meetings had been held with the EMA.
He said license renewals took place in January and a CEC took about six months before it was issued.
He claimed that particular ruling seemed to exist only for Chaguanas dealers as dealers in other parts of the country had been issued their licenses.
“Chaguanas has the most amount of scrap yards than other areas like Siparia, south, Arima and Tunapuna where our members have been issued licenses but Chaguanas is where the major yards are and most of the yards out of Chaguanas work for them so if you do that to the Chaguanas yards then that means you are shutting down the whole scrap industry.”
Ferguson said the export of scrap iron was primarily done by the Chaguanas yards which had invested millions of dollars into their businesses.
He said the association had instructed its lawyers to “remove our application from the (licensing) committee and send it to the magistrate.
“So that is what going to take place. And if the magistrate don’t grant us our licenses, well then we going to the Appeal court and if the Appeal court do not grant it, we will go to the highest of the highest and somebody have to pay because we not doing business since the year start.”
In a media release, the EMA stated the recovery of scrap metal falls within the scope of Designated Activity 37 of the CEC (Designated Activities) Order.
“As such, any person or entity who proposes to establish, modify, expand, decommission or abandon a facility for the recovery, recycling or incineration of waste, is required to submit an application for a CEC to the EMA for consideration, and receive said CEC before proceeding with the proposed activity.”
The EMA said when a CEC was received, the application would be processed to make a determination according to the statutory timeframes prescribed within the CEC Rules.
The EMA also cited Chapter 35:02 (EM Act) which stated that no person shall proceed with an activity which the Minister had designated as requiring a certificate unless such person applied for and received one from the authority.