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March 22, 2017

Judge Orders Fort Madison Metals Recycler to Pay $125,000 in Default Judgment over Environmental Lawsuit

Lawsuit alleged Feinberg Recycling LLC and owner Marty Feinberg violated air, solid waste and water violations; family-owned business repeatedly violated state environmental laws in previous cases

FORT MADISON, Iowa – A Lee County judge this month ordered a Fort Madison man and his recycling company to pay a $125,000 penalty, in a default judgment over an environmental lawsuit filed last year by Attorney General Tom Miller.

District Court Judge John M. Wright ordered Feinberg Recycling LLC and its owner, Marty Feinberg, to pay the penalty and permanently dismantle and dispose of aluminum recycling equipment.

Miller filed suit against the company and its owner in July, alleging the defendants repeatedly and illegally operated machinery used to separate metals. The machinery releases airborne hazardous substances when melting aluminum, and is regulated by state and federal environmental laws. The substances include dioxins and furans which, according to the lawsuit, are highly toxic and can cause cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, damage to the immune system, and can interfere with hormones.

According to the lawsuit, Feinberg did not seek a mandatory permit for the machinery or operate it with required equipment to monitor and limit air pollutant emissions.

The lawsuit also alleged that Feinberg illegally stockpiled more than 3,500 waste vehicle tires, and failed to obtain various environmental permits for construction and operations at the facility.

In 2010, Feinberg was a co-operator of Feinberg Metals Recycling Corp. of Fort Madison. The company name dissolved in 2014.

Feinberg Recycling Inc. was incorporated in 2014 and dissolved a year later.

Previous Violations
In 2010, Marty Feinberg, two family members, and their business, Feinberg Metals Recycling Corp., were ordered to pay a $42,000 civil penalty and not to violate certain state environmental laws after the defendants illegally demanufactured and disposed of discarded appliances.

In 1999, Feinberg Metals Recycling paid $1,000 to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for violating environmental laws in 1994 and 1995, including draining waste oils onto the ground.

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