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Crackdown on illegal tire sites

Director seeking public’s help

Ohio generates about 12 million scrap tires every year and more than 100,000 of those are dumped illegally.

Some of those tires come from Lawrence County, with illegal dumping sites recently found in the Chesapeake and Linville-Scottown areas.

It’s a problem Dan Palmer, director of the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District, calls “monumental,” and requires constant attention and funding for cleanup.

“The EPA can’t continue to keep funding this for years and years and years,” he said.

As part of a five-year plan for the LSSWMD, Palmer said more focus will be given to informing and educating the public on the penalties of open dumping, as well as enforcement of the dumping laws.

Palmer has recently visited all local law enforcement agencies to ask for help with enforcement, as well as all local tire distribution businesses and car dealerships to ensure their tire disposal process is within the law.

“People have to do what the law states,” Palmer, who recently designed a poster that’s getting some attention across the state, said.

The poster, which shows a photo of an illegal tire dump in Wheelersburg, explains that open dumping is an unclassified felony punishable by fines of $10,000-$25,000 and up to two to four years in prison.

Palmer also said it is illegal for anyone to haul more than 10 scrap tires at a time.

Also, businesses that dispose of scrap tires must use a company that is EPA certified for tire removal services. There are no such businesses registered locally in Ohio, Palmer said, with the closest services being in Kentucky — DTR Inc. in Ashland, Porter Tire Center in Olive Hill and Rumpke of Kentucky in Butler.

“If they don’t have certification of registration, they are not approved by the EPA,” Palmer said.

In addition to an increase in enforcement of the dumping laws, Palmer said the public’s help is important in making the district aware of dumping sites, like the ones in Chesapeake and Linville-Scottown.

“I want to thank the people who are calling and informing us of situations,” Palmer said. “We need your help.”