PHOENIX (Feb. 12, 2010)—A bill that would allow the use of scrap tires as fill for abandoned mine shafts passed the Arizona House Natural Resources and Rural Affairs Committee by a 5-3 vote Jan. 19.
The legislation, which is opposed by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and several environmental groups, is sponsored by Rep. Russell Jones, R-Yuma. It is designed to fulfill the requirements of two separate Arizona statutes: one that outlines the disposal of scrap tires and one that allows the use of inert materials to fill in and secure abandoned mine shafts.
The bill would allow the use of scrap tires as fill material in mine shafts until Dec. 31, 2015. The state mine inspector would be required to select up to five mines in dispersed locations in Arizona to test scrap tires as a fill material, and to convene a working group to evaluate the effectiveness of scrap tires in that application.
The bill is now before the state's House Rules Committee. Rep. Jones and Jim Buster, director of legislative affairs for the ADEQ, could not immediately be reached for comment.