State says tire pile must go

June 09, 1997


Staff Writer

The Maryland Department of the Environment is seeking an injunction against Elwood Grimm over the stockpiling of nearly 250,000 scrap tires on two of his Washington County properties.

The state is not seeking money or damages, but wants the tires removed, said Kenneth W. Long Jr., assistant attorney general with the Maryland Department of the Environment.

"Do it or let us do it," Long said is the message to Grimm. "If we do it, we'll just bill him."


Grimm said he will clean up all the tires himself within the next two months by taking them to Frederick, Md., to be burned.

"The state wants about $1 million to do it so I'll do it myself," Grimm said.

He estimates it will cost him about $350,000 to do it himself, and he said he doesn't have that kind of money.

Long said two properties owned by Grimm contain scrap tires. One is at Elwood's Auto Exchange, 21411 Jefferson Boulevard in Smithsburg, and the other is at B&J Auto Parts, 13324 Greencastle Pike.

Five stockpiles at Elwood's Auto Exchange contain 194,000 tires and six stockpiles at the other site hold about 40,000 more scrap tires, the state said.

In business for more than 40 years, Grimm at one time had more than 1 million tires at Elwood's Auto Exchange, Long said.

Scrap tire piles attract rodents, insects and other animals and have the potential for causing serious environment damage in the event of a fire, according to the DOE.

State law says no more than 5,600 tires can be stored in an area of 15,000 square feet, and only for 90 days.

Efforts to have the tires moved without filing court action have failed, Long said.

Many tires were removed between 1989 and 1995, Long said. Since then, the tire piles have been growing, he said.

Long said neither site is licensed for scrap tire storage.

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