New rules for scrapyards head to governor for signature

Mar 20, 2014

New rules that are supposed to reduce the sale of stolen metal and car parts cleared are headed to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk. “Scrapping” is a big obstacle to Detroit’s redevelopment.

Critics say the measure has too many loopholes. Democratic State Sen. Coleman Young of Detroit says the new rules aren’t perfect, but they will help solve the problem.

“We’re trying to attract new jobs, new opportunities to come over here, and they see they have to hire extra security in order to make sure they can protect their property,” said Young. “So I think in terms of having stable, walkable neighborhoods and having a vibrant economic growth sector, I think this bill is good.”

Metal theft is also a problem plaguing rural areas. The new rules will end same-day, in-person cash payments for transaction of $50 or more. The payment will have to be mailed instead. Scrap dealers will also have to keep track of sellers. 

But some lawmakers say that doesn’t do enough to track people who sell to scrapyards.

“I think there’s a better approach that we can take,” said state Sen. David Hildebrand. “I think the database, the statewide database is the right approach so we can track the criminals who go from scrapyard to scrapyard and selling stolen goods. And so I just don’t think that this was the right solution.”

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan personally lobbied lawmakers to adopt the new rules.