MEADVILLE – The Department of Environmental Protection is seeking a civil penalty of $31,000 from Charles Tanner of Butler for numerous violations relating to the improper transport, handling and disposal of waste tires at several sites in Butler and Lawrence counties.
“Mr. Tanner repeatedly failed to comply with orders from DEP and the courts, and ignored state laws and regulations,” DEP Regional Director Kelly Burch said. “The department is seeking this civil penalty as a result of Mr. Tanner’s unlawful conduct, and the environmental and human health threats posed by his improper handling of waste tires.”
In June 2005, DEP ordered Tanner to remove 10,000 improperly stored waste tires from two sites: 8,000 tires on property adjacent to Route 422 in Clearfield Township, Butler County, and 2,000 tires on property on Woodland Lane in Plain Grove Township, Lawrence County.
Tanner removed approximately 3,000 tires to a permitted tire-disposal facility, but disposed of the remaining 7,100 waste tires at four other un-permitted sites. As a result of that action, DEP revoked Tanner’s Waste Tire Transportation Authorization and filed a petition with the Butler County Court of Common Pleas to force Tanner to comply with the DEP order.
On May 18, DEP reached a negotiated settlement in the form of a court order with Tanner which required him to remove all of the remaining waste tires for proper disposal and/or recycling within 30 days. Tanner failed to meet that deadline and did not submit documents verifying that the tires had been disposed of properly as required under the order.
After DEP sought to have Tanner declared in contempt of court, he completed proper disposal of the tires and provided the required documentation. On Oct. 17, 2006, the Butler County Court of Common Pleas fined Tanner $500 for failing to comply with the court’s May 18 order.
The $31,000 civil penalty will be deposited into the Pennsylvania Solid Waste Abatement Fund which finances cleanups of illegal dumps and other hazards to public health.
Approximately 12 million waste tires are generated in Pennsylvania each year. Improperly stockpiled tires create environmental hazards such as tire fires, and provide breeding areas for mosquitoes and vermin.