Ill. AG says tire recycler poses West Nile threat

Bryan Cohen Sep. 7, 2012, 12:37pm


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a multi-count lawsuit on Thursday against a Champaign County tire recycler for allegedly violating state environmental safety standards.

The Thomasboro-based Astro Tire Removal allegedly left thousands of uncovered used tires outdoors, allowing water and overgrown vegetation to accumulate in the tires. Health officials warned that the accumulation of standing water can allow for a breeding ground for mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus.

"Essentially, this business is an open dump in violation of Illinois law," Madigan said. "I'm filing this complaint to ensure that the public health concerns at this site are addressed effectively."

Since April 2009, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has conducted multiple inspections of Astro Tire Removal. The inspections allegedly found an increasing number of tires scattered about the property and stacked in piles. Some of the waste tires were covered by overgrown vegetation.

In addition to allegations of open dumping violations, Madigan's lawsuit alleges that Astro Tire Removal failed to document that it had the financial resources to process the used tires and remove them legally from the site. Each of the six allegations could carry a potential civil penalty of $50,000 and $10,000 per day the violations continue.

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