District 5 Councilmember Files Council Consideration Request
Published on November 28, 2023
District 5 Councilmember Files Council Consideration Request Amid Public Health Concerns Around Metal Recycling Plants in San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO (November 28, 2023) — Today, Councilwoman Castillo, along with her Council colleagues from Districts 1, 2, 3, and 7, filed a City Council Request (CCR) which calls for the establishment of a stakeholder taskforce aimed at evaluating and proposing amendments to the San Antonio Code of Ordinances. This taskforce is expected to focus specifically on Chapters 11 (Fire Prevention) and 16 (Licenses and Business Regulations) to ensure comprehensive enforcement concerning Used Automotive Parts Recyclers (UAPRs) and Metal Recycling Entities (MREs).
While UAPRs and MREs play integral roles in San Antonio’s recycling ecosystem and circular economy, their operations, have recently been associated with several reoccurring fires raising concerns around significant pollution issues and public health concerns from San Antonians who reside near these recycling facilities. This CCR emphasizes the urgent need to address these concerns to safeguard the well-being of residents, along with the need to ensure these businesses have operational processes and procedures that align with the greenhouse gas emission reduction goals of the City of San Antonio’s Climate Action & Adaptation Plan.
"Protecting the health of our communities is paramount. Our residents have very real public health concerns, and we must hold industries accountable for their environmental impact and ensure stringent adherence to City codes to reduce the impact of hazardous air and ground pollution," said Councilwoman Castillo.
To address these challenges effectively, the CCR proposes the creation of an ad hoc taskforce. The taskforce should comprise of diverse stakeholders, including neighborhood representatives, San Antonio Fire Department personnel, Development Services Department staff, industry representatives, and subject matter experts.
The taskforce's primary objective is expected to include reviewing Chapters 11 and 16 of the San Antonio Code of Ordinances. Recommendations for amendments focus on:
- Establishing a streamlined process for identifying and resolving code violations by UAPRs and MREs.
- Implementing fines, or other penalties, on entities repeatedly utilizing city services due to code violations during emergencies, with revenues directed toward offsetting city service costs and funding pollution mitigation initiatives.
- Setting thresholds for code violations by UAPRs and MREs, triggering stringent enforcement measures until compliance is achieved. Potential measures include temporary operation halts, mandatory air pollution monitoring, and fines for service usage.