Department of Environmental Conservation

Selected Aspects of the Waste Tire Abatement Program

Waste tires are a fire hazard and a potential source of environmental and public health problems. The Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for overseeing the clean-up (or abatement) of waste tire stockpiles violating existing laws and regulations. If property owners do not voluntarily comply with the abatement requirements, the Department is to assume responsibility for the clean-up and recover the costs from the owner. According to State law, the abatement of all noncompliant waste tire sites is to be completed by December 31, 2010.

We examined abatement efforts at the five largest noncompliant sites in the State, which together contained an estimated 21 million waste tires (about two-thirds of the total number of waste tires at the 115 noncompliant sites identified by the Department). We found that one site (with 2.3 million tires) had been fully abated and another (with 1.8 million tires) was close to being abated. Some progress had also been made at a third site (with 8.1 million tires). However, most of the tires at this site had not been abated and little or no progress had been made at the other two sites (with 8.8 million tires). According to Department records, as of September 2006, abatement was completed or nearly completed at 37 of the 58 owner-abated sites and 2 of the 37 Department-abated sites (which tend to be larger). Abatement responsibility was still being negotiated for the remaining 20 sites.

The Department is required by law to develop individual abatement schedules for each noncompliant waste tire site. However, we found the Department had not developed such schedules. In the absence of these schedules, the Department was unable to establish benchmarks for measuring the Stateís progress in meeting the 2010 goal. We recommended the Department develop the required abatement schedules and more closely monitor the progress of the abatement process. We also made other recommendations for improving the Departmentís oversight of the abatement process.

For a complete copy of Report 2006-S-67 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.