WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (July 23, 4:15 p.m. ET) — Global Plastic Grinders LLC in
“The owner did not have a business license for plastics grinding,” Coleman told Plastics News July 18. “They have been informed that they need to get a fire analysis of the building, and of the flammability of the material” by a registered design professional in order to obtain that license.
Coleman issued the stop work order on July 11 for not having a properly approved fire inspection report, and for failure to have a proper operational permit for operations that produce combustible dust.
A three-member panel of the West Columbia Fire Code Appeals board upheld the appeal July 23. A news release issued by Global Plastics after that hearing said that the company has “requested an application for such a permit” but added that company officials “wonder if such an application even exists."
In the fire chief's original letter sent July 11 to president and owner Charles D. Leonard Sr. and vice president Annette Leonard, Coleman told the two that “you are prohibited from conducting plastic grinding operations until an operational permit and approved fire inspection report has been issued by the West Columbia Fire Department, [and] all other required permits have been approved and a business license has been issued by the City of West Columbia.”
An individual retained as a consultant by the owner said the owner has told him that he has that license. But Charles Leonard did not respond to an inquiry from Plastics News.
“The owner, Mr. Leonard Sr., has indicated that all permits and licenses have been applied for and all fees have been submitted months ago and the city has not responded,” said the company spokesman. “They have been grinding [plastics] for over a year.”
The company has approximately 50 employees.
The stop work order issue was issued six days after an inspection of the plant, Coleman said. He said the company did have a license for paper shredding.
“It was evident to the code officials that your facilities pose potential hazards that need to be identified, quantified and assessed before determining, what, if any, changes will be required or necessary,” said the letter sent by Coleman to the Leonards.
“[A] major issue/concern is identifying all the current uses and operations in your facilities,” said the letter. “For example, quantities and combustibility of the contents, storage arrangements [of the plastics], maximized storage heights, and fire protection features present in the building. In addition, we are concerned about the nature and hazards associated with any manufacturing/recycling operations [including] the size, quantity and combustibility of the dust and other associated hazards.”
“Finally, we are concerned about the code issues associated with your processes and products and its handling, such as the combustibility of the pellets, material, and other associated hazards,” said the letter. “[The city] is formally requesting that you provide a technical report and opinion (fire safety analysis), at your expense, to determine the acceptability of the technologies, processes, products, facilities, storage, materials and uses.”
“All operational permits and fire inspection reports will be withheld until the technical report has been reviewed and approved by the West Columbia Fire Chief.
In its July 23 press release, Global Plastic said it has “contracted for the requested analysis.”
“Global Plastic Grinders LLC has attempted to comply with the actual fire codes in place, as well as the requirements stated in the only inspection report they were given.” said the press release. “Officials at the city continue to send mixed signals regarding the future business climate for Global Plastic Grinders, saying that further investigation and an independent report on Fire Safety Analysis is required before the business may resume.”
The inspection at Global Plastics was made after a fire June 29 destroyed the World Wide Recycling in nearby
Cayce officials said World Wide failed to notify the city, as is required by city code, that it planned to burn the pallets.