Colorado Springs

A fine has been issued for last year’s massive Tire Mountain fire near Hudson — and it’s a molehill – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-06-24 05:04:00 –

The country’s largest tire dump, 30 miles northeast of Denver, ignited last July, burning millions of tires in a firefighter’s sun-blocking plume. The flame was caused by the owner’s tire crusher.

Subsequent state inspections revealed that CH2E’s Tire Mountain near Hudson had ignored state law for two years requiring the recycling of two tires for each tire accepted in the so-called “monofill” tire. It was.

The state also found that owners are afflicting them with the tire disposal fees required for three-quarters of 2020.

The fire road between the tire piles was blocked. Tires were stacked higher than allowed. Tires were dumped in weeds outside the permitted trenches. Weeds grew everywhere, increasing the risk of fire.

In May, the State Department of Health fined these violations a total of $ 8,704. Authorities also ordered the owner not to do it again before the dump, and its nearly 27 million tires must be permanently closed in 2024.

The state’s hazardous waste authorities have a 15-page compliance order demanding a major change in operations by Tire Mountain owner CH2E, and the company has already implemented many of them, with low fines. Explains about.

Snapp said regulators are restricted by hazardous waste inspection regulations. “We can only evaluate penalties for violations that occur within the day we inspect the site, up to $ 10,000 per penalty per day,” he said.

When the tires ignited on July 22, 2020, a large amount of black smoke was swirling from the monofil near Hudson, formerly known as Tire Mountain. (Platteville-Gilcrest Fire Protection District)

Most importantly, the consent decree is “compulsory,” said David Snap, manager of the state’s solid waste and materials management program. So it’s faster and faster. Otherwise, we have to file a proceeding and file a complaint in court, which is very bulky and time consuming. And it costs a lot of money to the state. ”

CH2E has not returned multiple calls for comment since the tire fire last July.

Colorado historically Some of the worst tire dump problems in the country.. In addition to the monofil near Hudson, state officials frequently inspect and negotiate enforcement at the slowly empty tire pits south of the fountain and facilities near Sterling.

The Rattle Snake Solar Farm is located on 175 acres just east of CH2E and is North America’s largest scrap tire monofil known as Tire Mountain in Hudson, Colorado. (Special to Karl Pain and Colorado Sun)

The state legislature regularly sets new scrap tire rates and tire facility closure dates to advance dates when the economics of tire recycling change again. It’s usually even worse. Current state law of 2018 states that monofils must stop burying tires by 2024. Under the same law, Monofill requires two tires to be recycled and reused for each tire placed on the ground.

Lawmakers have also reinstated the disposal fees that buyers pay when changing car tires. Approved tire dampers pay Monofill when unloading the tires. The money collected will be used by the state to fund users who recycle old tires. Most often used in cement kilns that burn tires as fuel, or in landfills that use shredded tires as daily garbage covers.

However, while the pandemic-affected parliament was shortened in 2020, lawmakers wiped out user funds to fill other budget holes. Snapp said the fund is now accumulating again and believes it will begin to attract recyclers this year. Regulators are now proposing to increase payments to end users by $ 50 per ton to further interest, he said.

Sterling facilities are often exempt from state regulators on a two-to-one rule because there are no cement kilns or other tire recycling entrepreneurs nearby.

Tire Monofil in southern Florence has pulled down millions of buried tires by shipping them to a nearby cement plant, and there is a shortage of materials that can be safely removed from the ground, Snap said. Some of the original tire pits in that monofill were 50 feet deep, and discarded tires would probably have to stay there, Snapp said.

In the past, Hudson’s facility had thinned out tires for cement plant fuel and distributed them into 64 “cells.” However, those users disappeared and it was too costly to ship the tires in bulk to a cement plant near Florence. CH2E advertises multiple uses for shredded tires on its website, but a few years ago it began to lag behind the 2: 1 ratio.

The July 22 fire raged all day, spreading millions of tires into a handful of cells. According to Snap, the state has postponed the scheduled annual inspection until November to wipe the company out of the fire.

When the inspectors finally went to Hudson, they found the necessary fire roads around a pile of soil used to extinguish the fire and a cell blocked by extensive weeds. Tires were stacked outside the cell, contrary to state regulations, and were stacked higher than the regulations allow.

When the state asked for paperwork to be considered, regulators discovered a new series of breaches. The new tire law, which came into force in early 2018, allowed the state to grant a 2: 1 recycling rate exemption for the year alone, which CH2E obtained. According to the state, it wasn’t available in 2019 or 2020, but it still continued to incorporate more tires than recycled.

The company also stopped paying tire disposal fees paid by dampers in the first three quarters of 2020. Snapp said CH2E had caught up with these payments by the time it agreed to a May consent order.

Burnt tire cells are full of melted rubber, ash, and remaining steel belts. They are covered with dirt and sand, Snapp said. Large-scale disposal facilities such as Tire Mountain are designed according to state regulations to prevent chemicals from leaking into groundwater. State tests have not detected any danger from burnt cells, Snapp said.

Currently, when CH2E or a subcontractor operates a shredder that gets hot from heavy work, it is necessary to cover nearby cells to prevent the spread of fire, Snapp added.

The Consent Decree repeats state law stating that CH2E will stop accepting newly disposed tires in 2024 and will cover the remaining stakes in accordance with state regulations. However, if the tire recycling option is viable, some cells can be left open to remove the tire. Snapp said he believes more regional landfills will begin using shredded tires again for “daily covers” if they can benefit from user funding.

Regulators have pointed out another concession that they feel is important to get from CH2E. As part of the decree, companies need to modify Weld County ownership to allow future buyers to pay attention to what’s underground.

“Permanently notify potential buyers of real estate that the land has been used as landfill,” the Consent Decree said.

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A fine has been issued for last year’s massive Tire Mountain fire near Hudson — and it’s a molehill Source link A fine has been issued for last year’s massive Tire Mountain fire near Hudson — and it’s a molehill

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