South Carolina Close to Ban on Cash for Copper

June 6, 2011

A South Carolina bill banning cash payments for copper appears one vote away from Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk.

The House voted last Thursday to end cash sales for copper, and to require both seller and recycler to obtain permits from local law enforcement. The amended bill returns to the Senate.

Legislators are trying to stem the growing problem of copper thefts from air conditioning units and farm irrigation systems.

Robert Bedell of Southern Mutual Church Insurance Co. said his company processed $1.2 million in insurance claims last year due to copper thefts at churches.

The recycling industry wanted to continue paying cash for amounts under $200. But House Minority Leader Harry Ott argued most thieves are bringing in small amounts of copper worth $50 or less to support a drug habit.

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