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New rules address how Illinois businesses handle tire disposal and storage


From Illinois Businss Journal news services

New rules designed to significantly improve the management of used tires in Illinois were recently put into effect by the Illinois Pollution Control Board.

The rules cover all owners and operators of tire disposal and storage sites, as well as all tire retreading, tire stamping and die cutting facilities.

The board’s action is intended to help protect Illinois citizens from the threats posed by tire fires and the breeding of disease-carrying mosquitos due to standing water in tires, including those responsible for the West Nile Virus, mosquito-borne encephalitis, and chikungunya, recently introduced into the United States from the Caribbean.

At the same time, the changes aim to minimize the impact on businesses in the used tire and tire treading businesses. The rules also increase the protection to the public from used tire businesses that get into financial difficulties. The rules require operators to change the way used tires may be stored at both indoor and outdoor tire storage facilities. The board’s action also are designed to ensure that emergency response crews have easier access to tire piles in case of fire or other emergencies.

“We want to ensure that owners and operators of tire disposal, recycling and retreading businesses act responsibly,” said Chairman Gerald M. Keenan. “Many Illinois residents remember the huge 1994 tire fire in East Chicago that took more than a month to extinguish. The industry provides a valuable service, keeping tires out of landfills and reusing them for other products. Our rules require that these activities be done safely.”

“The rules implement the framework established by the General Assembly in 2014 in response to concerns about the increase in tire fires since 1998,” said Carrie Zalewski, the lead board member in the development of the rules. “The June 2013 tire fire in Hoopston, where smoke could be seen for 20 miles, focused everyone’s attention on the need for stronger regulations.”

“The board is grateful for the thorough work done by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in conducting industry outreach and developing the original rule proposal,” Keenan said. “They have worked closely with board staff in making improvements during the board’s review and evaluation of the rules.”

The final rules were published in the Illinois Register and are now in effect.


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