Lawsuit alleges air, solid waste and water violations; family-owned business repeatedly violated state environmental laws in previous cases
FORT MADISON, Iowa – Attorney General Tom Miller Friday filed an environmental lawsuit against a Fort Madison man and his recycling company, which was previously penalized for violating state environmental laws.
In the civil suit filed in Lee County District Court, Miller alleges that Feinberg Recycling LLC and its owner, Marty Feinberg, repeatedly violated state environmental laws that regulate open burning and air quality, storm water discharges, and waste tire storage.
Lawsuit Alleges Air, Solid Waste and Water Violations
The lawsuit alleges that Feinberg repeatedly and illegally operated a sweat furnace, which is machinery used to separate metals.
A sweat furnace 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.
Feinberg did not seek a mandatory permit for the machinery, according to the lawsuit, or operate it with required equipment to monitor and limit air pollutant emissions.
The lawsuit also alleges 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.
The lawsuit seeks civil penalties and permanent court injunctions.
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.
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.