A Michigan court has ordered a Turner-based scrap tire processor to stop hauling tires and to spray his stockpile for mosquitoes after allegedly violating state scrap tire handling requirements.
The owner said he tried to comply with the statutes, but the state wasn't satisfied with his efforts.
Michigan's 23rd Circuit Court issued a preliminary injunction June 20 against Heritier Drainage and its owner, Joseph Heritier. The court told him to stop transporting tires to his two-acre business site and to treat the estimated 140,000 tires already there at least three times with mosquito-repellent chemicals.
The court issued the order at the request of the Michigan Department of Attorney General and the state's Department of Environmental Quality. The agencies had filed suit against Heritier, alleging he had violated state operational requirements for tire collection and processing sites.
Among other things, the agencies asked the court to force Heritier to remove or process its scrap tires to reduce tire pile sizes; provide fencing and a berm for fire control; and post sufficient bond and controls to reduce potential for mosquito breeding. It also asked the court to levy civil fines against Heritier and order that it reimburse the state for staff costs during the enforcement action.
"Our two biggest concerns in this case were the transporting of additional tires to the site and the mosquito situation, and both of those have been addressed with the injunction," a spokesman for the attorney general's office said.
Heritier Drainage provides tire chips as fuel mostly for facilities that generate electricity. Contacted at his home, Joseph Heritier had little comment beyond acknowledging the preliminary injunction.
"They shut my business down and ordered me to spray the tires," Heritier said. "We'd been doing that all along, but they came back and told me it was the wrong spray."