Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pennsylvania Making Progress In Waste Tire Pile Cleanup

In March 1996, a catastrophic tire fire engulfed a busy section of I-95 in Philadelphia, damaging the roadway and releasing toxic emissions. The fire drew attention to an environmental issue that had been quietly building in Pennsylvania -- waste tire piles.
Lawmakers took up the issue that same year, passing Act 190 that enabled DEP to begin to assess and remediate tire piles, like the one responsible for the I-95 fire.
In 1996, Pennsylvania had 36 million waste tires in hundreds of piles across the state. Many had been established for decades as a less-expensive way to dispose of unwanted tires. Others believed that they would someday have value, so the tires were stashed in hillsides and valleys.
Since the passage of Act 190, DEP, in cooperation with private industry and willing landowners, has cleaned up 97 percent of these waste tires. Less than a million waste tires remain in the state.
Pennsylvania has proactively addressed this problem by committing $29 million to remediate waste tire piles. Much of that money was raised by tipping fees paid by the waste management industry and not taxpayer dollars.
Waste tire piles are an economic, environmental and health blight on the landscape of Pennsylvania. The state has been a leader in waste tire pile removal, but there is still work to be done.
To learn more about the waste tire program, or to see a list of upcoming cleanup projects, Click Here.

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