California recycler agrees to $2.4 million penalty, clean-up over state claims of toxic-waste

A Northern California scrap metal recycler has agreed to pay nearly $2.4 million to settle a state civil case alleging toxic-waste dumping.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control announced the settlement Monday with Sims Group.

The state had accused the Redwood City company of contaminating the area around its scrap metal recycling site with toxic levels of lead, copper and zinc.

Sims Group denied wrongdoing in its settlement with the state. The settlement filed in San Mateo County Superior Court says the scrap recycler will pay the state nearly $1 million and spend $1.4 million on upgrades to keep scrap metal from straying to surrounding properties.

In a statement, the recycler said it had already begun extensive work before the settlement to keep lightweight material from blowing offsite.