Schnitzer’s Toxic Mess Around the Bay

Schnitzer on fire along the Bay

For decades, Schnitzer Steel’s auto-shredding operation on the Oakland shoreline has released chemicals and heavy metals into the Bay and nearby neighborhoods. And large fires, likely ignited by chemicals on the site, frequently break out at the facility (pictured), causing air pollution problems for the West Oakland community.

Now we’ve also uncovered high levels of pollution at the company’s satellite sites around the Bay.

Sampling data revealed that four of Schnitzer’s Pick-N-Pull auto-dismantling facilities—in Fairfield, Richmond, Oakland, and Newark—are releasing toxic pollution into waters around the Bay, including in the Suisun wetlands, San Pablo Bay, Arrowhead Marsh, and the Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge.

The Richmond and Oakland facilities operate in areas with a disproportionate pollution burden, where local residents already have to deal with other harmful industrial practices.

Schnitzer recently renamed itself “Radius Recycling,” but the rebrand won’t shield the company from their pollution liability. This week, Baykeeper filed a lawsuit to get the company to clean up its sites and ensure it’s no longer violating the Clean Water Act.

For the health of the Bay and the communities that call the Bay Area home, we’ll require Schnitzer to clean up its toxic mess around the Bay. So far, the company has been cooperating in discussions to solve its pollution problem.

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