BALTIMORE (March 1, 1999) – The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) recently completed the clean up 979,000 scrap tires, at property owned by William Egri in Accokeek, Maryland, the second largest* such cleanup in the department’s history.
The site, which is located at 17305 Manning Drive in Prince George’s County, came to the attention of the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) through the licensing system established in 1992. Egri applied for and received a scrap tire recyclers license in 1994. The license allowed him to convert scrap tires into 2-inch by 2-inch chips and limited the size of his stock pile to control the potential for environmental problems. Egri’s operation, called Tread-Shred Inc. did not produce this marketable product and significant numbers of tires accumulated at the site. As Egri’s tire stockpile grew, MDE informed Egri in April 1995 that he was in violation of his permit. This was settled when Egri agreed to and signed a consent order and agreed to cleanup the site and pay a $15,000 penalty. The last of the tires were removed last month.
Maryland has cleaned up more than 6.6 million tires since the scrap tire law was passed in 1991. An additional 1.8 million tires at 31 sites are being cleaned up. There are 30 other scrap tire sites where MDE is working through owners such as Egri or through court action to begin clean up.
Obtaining the cooperation of the responsible party to clean up their property and avoiding the use of statefunds is the preferred approach. Some clean up projects, however, require more assistance from the
Maryland Used Tire and Recycling Fund. The fund, which was established in 1991, is generated from the collection of one dollar for every new tire sold in Maryland. In addition to scrap tire cleanup programs, MDE uses the funds to implement a licensing program to prevent the formation of potentially hazardous stockpiles. The funds also are used for special projects to promote the beneficial uses of scrap tires such as the construction of scrap tire playgrounds in state parks.
Scrap tires present a unique environmental challenge. If ignited, the pile is a formidable problem for firefighters. The heat from such a blaze is intense, long lasting, and generates thick black smoke with a noxious odor. The resulting fire can produce oil from melted tires, which pollutes soils, ground and surface waters. The scrap tire pile also is a breeding ground for mosquitoes that lay their eggs in pools of water that collect inside the tires after rainfall. The Maryland Used Tire and Recycling Fund provides the resources necessary to prevent such stockpiles and to clean them up once discovered.
Rather than contributing to an environmental hazard, the tires removed from the site were burned to produce electricity or steam, or shredded for civil engineering uses such as replacing expensive stone aggregate in drainage applications.