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Scrap tire removal program on target

July 10, 1997

By SAMANTHA KRULEWITZ

Staff Writer

The Maryland Department of the Environment said Wednesday that it achieved its fiscal year 1997 goal of removing 1 million illegally dumped scrap tires through 44 removal projects across Maryland.

Three removal projects in Washington County resulted in the removal of more than 11,000 tires. Maryland has removed more than four million scrap tires since 1990.

"These cleanup projects have provided tremendous long-term benefits to the citizens of Maryland. Scrap tire piles present significant public health and environmental risks," said Maryland Secretary of the Environment Jane T. Nishida.

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Scrap tires present several risks, officials said. If ignited, the piles are a large problem for firefighters. The heat from such a fire is intense, long-lasting and generates thick black smoke with a noxious odor.

In addition, scrap tire piles are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Mary Richmond, section head of the Scrap Tire Program, said MDE has set another goal for Fiscal Year 1998 to remove an additional 1 million tires.

In cases where there is no cooperation at dump sites, MDE moves to gain access to the dump site and pays to have the tires removed using the Maryland Scrap Tire Clean-up and Recycling Fund.

The fund, which started in 1991, is generated from the collection of one dollar for every new tire sold in Maryland.

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