Sims Metal, Redwood City Officials Meet to Prevent Future Fires

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Smoke spews from a two-alarm fire at Sims Metal Management in Redwood City. Dec. 17, 2013

    Redwood City officials met on Wednesday with Sims Metal Management after  a second fire in two months broke out at the recycling plant in Redwood City to determine any "immediate actionable items" that the plant can take to "prevent a  future fire that impacts the air quality," according to a city spokeswoman.

    The two-alarm fire at Sims Metal Management, located at 699  Seaport Blvd., started on Tuesday after a small explosion was reported around 12:50  a.m.

    The fire, which started in a stockpile of light iron-based recyclables, including  discarded appliances, comes after a Nov. 10 scrap metal fire that prompted a  health advisory for residents in southern San Mateo County, parts of Santa  Clara County and southern Alameda County.

    Health, emergency and air quality officials in those same counties  advised residents after Tuesday's fire to stay inside with windows closed. The fire burned for more than eight hours, sending a plume of  smoke into the area until it was controlled around 9:45 a.m.

    Tuesday was also the 10th Winter Spare the Air Day of the season,  with poor air quality affected by the fire.

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    No injuries were reported after the fire, officials said.

    City officials are directing Sims to "immediately employ  additional fire prevention measures" while investigating the fire.

    Last week, the company was fined by the Bay Area Air Quality  Management District for a "public nuisance" violation for the Nov. 10 fire.  City officials anticipate a similar citation for this blaze.

    In a statement from the company Tuesday, officials said they were  investigating what caused the explosion and fire and that the two fires'  timing "raises concerns."

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    The company said new policies were implemented after last month's  fire, such as reducing stockpile sizes and separating light iron from auto  bodies.

    After another fire occurred at the same recycling center in April  2007, air quality district levied yet another public nuisance violation on  the company for releasing large quantities of chemicals, such as benzene and  styrene.

    The BAAQMD inspects and regulates all shredding facilities for the  dust emissions and has broad authority in issuing violations if any state or  federal rules are broken, according to the air district.

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