Deer Creek Watershed Seeks Volunteers for Tire Cleanup
CLEARFIELD – Members of the Deer Creek Watershed are seeking volunteers for its tire cleanup from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on April 20-21 along state Route 879 in Girard Township.
Lyle Millard of the Deer Creek Watershed said its members consist of residents who want to improve the water quality, which has been polluted with acid mine drainage for years. Over the past year, he said the group’s had the stream tested monthly at 20, different spots. Millard said the group has been approved for an acid remediation program that will cover several acres with the vertical flow of the creek.
So far as the upcoming tire cleanup, Millard said tires were discovered in April of 2012 and the current property owner wasn’t knowledgeable of them. He said the tires apparently came from an old bus garage that used to be located adjacent to the creek. Millard said apparently the garage owner repaired his buses and disposed of tires over the bank into the creek.
Millard said the Deer Creek Watershed members are mostly concerned with the tires, as they’re a “breeding ground” for the West Nile Virus. He said there are approximately 200 – 500 old bus tires in the creek, which he documented with photographs while wading the full length of the creek. Millard said the tires haven’t been counted with many being buried.
In October of 2012, Millard spoke with Dan Vilello of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection about the tire cleanup. Vilello, according to him, promised that the Deer Creek Watershed could use a dumpster for the tire removal through a special tire disposal fund. Millard was instructed to contact Clinton County Cleanscapes, which he did.
In January, Millard spoke with Vilello again, who said the DEP wouldn’t be providing a dumpster for the tire cleanup. Since then, he’s spoken with Clearfield County Solid Waste Authority Director Jodi Brennan, who advised him to proceed with the tire cleanup without assistance from the DEP.
Millard said he didn’t want the expense of the dumpster falling on Clearfield County. In February, he spoke to Don Henrichs of the Veolia Greentree Landfill, who said they would be able to assist the Deer Creek Watershed with the dumpster issue.
Millard said the county’s contract with Veolia Greentree includes a volunteer clause that allows them to have one tire cleanup each year. He said they’re currently ironing out the details so far as Veolia Greentree providing a dumpster for the tire cleanup and then hauling it away afterward.
Millard said they’re currently seeking 30 – 40 volunteers for the tire cleanup. He said volunteers will need to remove the approximately 80- to 100-pound tires from the creek. Afterward he said a backhoe would be used to pull them up the bank for disposal.
Commissioner Chairperson Joan Robinson-McMillen suggested that Millard reach out to environmental groups at local high schools. She planned to announce the tire cleanup at the next Clearfield County Conservation District meeting.
In addition, Commissioner John A. Sobel suggested that Millard reach out to the environmental studies program at Penn State DuBois. He said the commissioners could also check with the Clearfield County Probation Office about the tire cleanup being a community service opportunity.
The tire cleanup is a part of the Great American Cleanup/Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. Its rain date has been set for April 27-28. For more information about the tire cleanup, please contact Lyle Millard by phone at 814-935-3480 or via e-mail at email@example.com.