Missouri has restored a new-tire fee used to fund scrap tire cleanups in the state, after letting a similar fee expire in January 2004 and following two big tire fires.
Gov. Matt Blunt signed a recently passed bill restoring the 50-cent fee charged on each new tire sold in the state and imposing a 50-cent fee on new car batteries, as of Oct. 1. The fee should bring about $2.1 million to Missouri's scrap tire fund each year, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
The new fee will expire in January 2010.
The bill the legislature passed in mid-May gives preference to Missouri-based contractors in tire site cleanups and allows the MoDNR to use the scrap tire fund to respond to tire-related environmental emergencies, such as tire fires.
The legislature considered the bill following tire fires in March in Polk County, Mo., and Ray County, Mo. The Polk County fire occurred in an abandoned quarry near Bolivar and involved an estimated 750,000 tires, according to MoDNR estimates.
About 20,000 tires burned in a dump in Ray County after a fire lit on the property for another purpose burned out of control and spread to the tires, said Beth Marsala, an enforcement section chief with the MoDNR's Solid Waste Management Program.
Currently, $1.46 million remains in the scrap tire fund, and an estimated 1.5 million stockpiled tires are left to clean up, Marsala said.