Firm voluntarily removes scrap tires

January 06, 1997


Staff Writer

A business north of Hagerstown has voluntarily removed a stockpile of tires, while a property owner west of town has been ordered to have his soil tested for contamination, according to state environmental officials.

The Maryland Department of the Environment said this week that Topflight Airpark on Showalter Road voluntarily removed 350 scrap tires from the property.

Topflight Airpark manager Jerry Iseminger said the tires were hauled Oct. 31 to the Washington County Landfill. Owners of the property paid about $450 for the removal, he said.


The tires were stored on a portion of the parking lot visible from Pennsylvania Avenue, Iseminger said. They had been left behind by a construction crew, which used the tires as ballast at least four years ago during repairs to the facility's roof, he said.

Stockpiled tires pose a potential environmental hazard in the event of a fire, which can be difficult to extinguish, according to Quentin Banks, spokesman for the state environmental agency.

Piles of tires also can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, Banks said.

Tires can be stockpiled only by special permit from the state agency, he said. Violations carry a penalty of $1,000 a day, not to exceed $50,000.

In a separate case, the state environmental office obtained a court order last month requiring Franklin P. Spickler of Cearfoss to perform a soil test on a portion of his property off Md. 63, northeast of Greencastle Pike.

The order said the soil tests must be done by Jan. 10, Banks said. The department had notified Spickler twice before to have the soil tested, Banks said.

The testing is necessary to determine if any hazardous waste is in the soil from a case dating back more than two years, Banks said.

Spickler's property was used by a neighboring furniture restoration business to store several 55-gallon drums and five-gallon buckets of used furniture stripping chemicals, Banks said.

Spickler was found innocent in 1995 of charges brought in 1994 that alleged he illegally allowed the storage of the chemicals on his property.

Arlene K. Resh of Arlene's Antiques and Country Crafts, Greencastle Pike, was found guilty of charges that she illegally placed waste on the land.

Spickler, contacted by telephone Thursday at his home, said he believes it is Resh's responsibility to have the soil tested. "They should be contacting her," he said.

"I was vindicated on charges in relation to this," he said. "Now they're coming up a year later saying I have to test the soil. I don't agree with it."

The state, however, requires property owners to be responsible for cleanup and soil tests when potential environmental hazards are involved, Banks said.

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