Missouri is taking two former quarry owners and a waste tire hauler to court to force them to clean up an allegedly illegal, 1 million-tire dump in Cass County, Mo.
The case involves Limpus Quarries Inc., which operated on leased land about eight miles outside of Archie, Mo. According to a suit filed by Missouri Attorney General Jeremiah W. Nixon, quarry shareholders Harlan and Ronald Limpus contracted with James D. Robbins, owner of Jim Robbins Co. Inc., to allow Robbins to dump tires in caverns and ravines on the quarry site.
Inspectors from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources inspected the property six times since 1991, the last three times in 2002. Each time they found about 1 million tires there, according to the suit, filed Jan. 30 in Cass County Circuit Court.
Nixon seeks an injunction against Robbins, whose company is based in Kansas City, Mo., and the Limpuses to force them to remove and properly dispose of the scrap tires in the quarry. Barring that, the suit states, the injunction should authorize the Missouri DNR to contract for removal of the tires and bill the defendants for cleanup costs and legal expenses.
Also, the injunction should grant ``such further relief as this court deems just and proper,'' the suit states. Under Missouri law, it said, Robbins and the Limpuses are liable for fines of up to $1,000 per day for every day the state finds them to have dumped tires illegally.
Wayne and Mary Lou Bishop, the owners of the quarry site, aren't defendants in the suit. The brief said when the Limpuses sold Limpus Quarries in 1996, they assumed all liabilities and obligations that otherwise accrued to the Bishops.
Neither Harlan nor Ronald Limpus could be reached for comment, and Robbins declined to discuss the case until it is resolved. In a ``Kan-sas City Star'' interview, however, Robbins said he stopped dumping tires on the site in the mid-1970s, long before there were any scrap tire laws in Missouri.
State officials insist Robbins dumped tires at Limpus Quarries long after this period, and even if he didn't, the law still requires him to clean up the site.
The Cass County site accounts for about one-third of the 3.2 million illegally dumped scrap tires left in Missouri, according to Beth Mar-sala, enforcement section chief for the Missouri DNR's Solid Waste Management Program.
Missouri bans landfilling of whole tires and charges 50 cents on the sale of each new tire to fund scrap tire programs, Marsala said. Sixty-five percent of the money goes for scrap tire abatement, with the rest going for administration, enforcement, collectors, retailers and grants to schools and other organizations for tire-derived playground material.