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DEP orders removal tires from fire site

April 14, 1999|By DON AINES

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The owner of a Montgomery Township property where a tire fire broke out last week will be ordered to remove most of the tires from the site, a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection official said Wednesday.

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Department spokeswoman Karen Sitler said a cease-and-desist order will be delivered to John Jackson today. He owns the property at 4886 Rice Hollow Road where a pile of more than 1,000 tires caught fire last Thursday.

"They will not be able to accept any new tires and will have to remove the exposed tires already there," Sitler said. Sitler could not find out Wednesday how much time Jackson would be given to remove the tires.

She said the order affects burned and exposed tires, but not ones buried on the property. Tests of water samples taken Monday from a creek downstream of the site determined there was no significant water pollution caused by runoff from the fire.

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Tires can be accepted and temporarily stored without a department permit as long as they are shipped out to a certified recycling facility. Tires also have to be stored in accordance with department policy, which limits the size of piles and requires a 50-foot fire break between piles, according to Sitler.

The tires, along with roofing materials and other debris, had been dumped into a ravine at the Jackson property.

Township Supervisor William T. Coble said the township probably will not take any action against Jackson if he complies with the order.

"If they clean it up and get rid of what's there, that's about all we can ask," Coble said.

Department officials said last week the property was being used as an illegal dump site.

The cause of the fire was undetermined as of Wednesday, according to Fire Chief Nick Barbuzanes, who oversees companies in Mercersburg, Montgomery, Warren and Peters townships.

A neighbor reported the fire at 5:36 a.m.

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