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Tire pile may be bigger

December 19, 2000

Tire pile may be bigger



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A West Virginia official who initially estimated up to 10,000 tires may be piled on farmland near Inwood now believes up to three times that amount may be there.

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There are two pits on the property where some of the tires may have been dumped, said Russ Rader, waste tire program manager for the state Division of Highways.

Also, Rader said there are some sections of the property that he has not inspected, and there could be tires in those areas as well.

Bill Butler, an Inwood area farmer who is leasing the land, said he doubts there are three times the amount of tires that Rader first estimated were located on the property.

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Butler declined to comment further.

"I'm just in no position to give you a story on that," he said Wednesday.

Repeated attempts this week to reach Martinsburg attorney Clarence E. Martin, who is managing the 250-acre site, were unsuccessful.

In September, Martin said he believed a former tenant on the property - whose identity he said he could not recall - was responsible for the tire pile, which is located along Arden-Nollville Road near the Inwood exit of Interstate 81.

Silver Properties Limited Liability Co. owns four-fifths of the property, Martin said. Another individual, whom Martin would not identify, owns the remaining fifth.

The state Division of Highways plans to use a new waste tire removal law to clean up the site, Rader said. The law allows the Highways Department to pay for the cleanup, then bill the landowner, Rader said.

Rader estimates the cleanup will cost up to $20,000.

Some of the tires are scattered in areas where there was waist-high grass over the summer, Rader said.

Rader said he would like to go onto the property now, while there is no foilage, so cleanup crews can get an exact idea how many tires are on the property. He said he would like to remove the tires in the spring.

Rader said he does not understand why the tires, many of which are still on rims, were dumped on the property.

Many of the tires could have been sold as used tires and the rims could have been scrapped, he said.

"But instead, they just raped the landscape. That's what upsets me," he said.

There is conflicting information about whether the state Division of Environmental Protection would have the authority to investigate who created a tire pile like the one in Inwood.

An official with the Division of Environmental Protection said Friday all the authority over tire piles has been moved to the Highways Department.

State Sen. Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, who worked on the tire pile legislation, claims the Division of Environmental Protection still has the authority to investigate tire piles.

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