EPA pressures landowner after responsible party fails to comply with previous orders
An enforcement action began in June 2014 against Rodney L. Burnside II who owns the company Freedom Recovery and Recycling and is the party considered responsible for the scrap tire accumulation. Efforts to resolve the problem locally produced no results and the Logan County Health District and Prosecutor William T. Goslee asked the state to get involved.
A search warrant was executed at the property in November, and by April, the Ohio EPA officially took over the case and identified it as a possible candidate for the state’s scrap tire abatement fund, which is collected through fees paid when buying new tires.An order was issued giving Mr. Burnside 120 days to remove the tires or to make a substantial effort to that end.
Mr. Burnside was also charged by a Logan County grand jury with several felony counts relating to the operation of an illegal tire dump and that case is scheduled for trial in late October.
Craig Kauffman, the Logan County Health District’s environmental health supervisor, said he visited the site on Sept. 4 with an Ohio EPA investigator and said there were no noticeable signs of improvement. There is also no available evidence that more tires have been brought onto the site, he said this week.
The new order against Mr. Middaugh, which was dated Sept. 15, gives the property owner 14 days to organize the tires into appropriate piles; create fire breaks wide enough to move emergency vehicles through; and institute a mosquito control plan, according to the order.
Mr. Middaugh then has 30 days to remove the first 20,000 tires and an additional 20,000 tires each 30 days thereafter.
Large tire piles at 4971 County Road 130 remain relatively unchanged from how they appeared in late March when local authorities asked the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to force the cleanup of the property. Rodney L. Burnside II, owner of Freedom Recovery and Recycling, was ordered to remove the tires, but has taken no action in the 120-day window. The Ohio EPA is now ordering property owner Randall Middaugh to clean the property or face legal action. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)
Read complete story in Thursday's Examiner.
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