THOMASBORO, Ill. (Sept. 11, 2012)—Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a six-count complaint against a Thomasboro tire recycling firm for alleged violations of the state's scrap tire storage rules.
The suit, filed Aug. 23 in Champaign County Circuit Court, seeks a court order for Astro Tire Removal Inc. to remove or properly store the tires. It also seeks a permanent injunction against the company from further violations, as well as fines of $50,000 per violation plus $10,000 for each day the alleged violations continue.
According to the complaint, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency inspected the Thomasboro property of Astro Tire seven times between April 2009 and July 2011. Each time, it said, inspectors found a fluctuating number of tires on the property, stored in illegal and unsafe ways.
The last inspection was July 18, 2011, according to the suit. At that time, about 117,517 passenger tire equivalents were on the site.
“Used tires were being stored within 25 feet of a building and piles of used tires were not adequately separated from each other,” the document said. “Used tires were stored within 50 feet of vegetation. Water accumulation and mosquito larva were observed in used tires in the western whole tire pile. The site had no financial assurance. Daily records were not being maintained.”
In addition, Astro Tire had not developed a tire storage plan or put up a fence around the property, and it had not submitted a written estimate of the cost of total tire removal to the Illinois EPA, the suit said.
The complaint accuses Astro Tire of violating the state's tire dumping, waste determination, tire storage site, recordkeeping and reporting, financial assurance and tire transporter regulations.
State health officials warned that storing scrap tires in the open and allowing them to accumulate water creates a major breeding ground for mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus, according to a press release from Madigan's office.
There are no court dates scheduled as yet in the case, according to a spokesman for Madigan's office. A spokesman for Astro Tire at its Thomasboro office declined comment.