Thursday, March 04, 2010

Tire makers join fight against AZ mine dumping

Tires are resources to be recycled, not recklessly dumped in the ground.

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX -- US tire makers have joined me and many other lawmakers in strong opposition to HB2290 from Rep. Russ Jones (R-Yuma), which would unwisely allow tires to be dumped in old mines.

Republicans passed this bad bill in the House yesterday, but hopefully it will die in the Senate or be vetoed.

Read AZ House Dems' news release.

Read the March 2 letter to Arizona State Representatives from tire makers:

Dear Representatives:

I am writing on behalf of the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) to voice our strong opposition to HB 2290, a bill that would allow scrap tires to be placed into abandoned mines.

RMA is the principle trade group representing the eight U.S. based tire manufacturers. Our members are responsible more than 85 percent of all new tires sold in the United States, and the industry has been actively engaged in matters related to the proper management of scrap tires for more than 20 years.

At present, Arizona has a strong infrastructure for the scrap tires generated in-state. Nearly all of these scrap tires are properly collected and processed into viable end-use products. Allowing scrap tires to be placed into abandoned mines would draw scrap tires way from the current collection and processing system, which would negatively impact the operational economy-of-scale for Arizona's scrap tire industry. In essence, this process would take scrap tires from high value-added markets and put them into an underground stockpile, serving no useful purpose.

Enactment of HB 2290 could carry serious environmental consequences for Arizona. Improper underground tire storage could become a fire hazard. A tire stockpile fire in an abandoned mine would cause significant environmental damage and would be extremely costly to extinguish and remediate. The byproducts from an uncontrolled tire fire are pyrolytic oil and heavy soot. The oil released would undoubtedly seep into the surrounding environment causing potentially catastrophic ground water contamination. Soot and vapor emissions would create a potentially toxic waste site. These potentially serious consequences need to be fully explored and considered.

No other state has advocated or supported the placement of scrap tires into abandoned mines. In fact, states either prohibit or heavily discourage such practice for the environmental and market-damaging consequences outlined above.

Arizona has a vibrant and successful scrap tire management infrastructure. The potential for serious environmental harm from placing scrap tires in abandoned mines is significant. For these reasons, RMA and its members urge Arizona policymakers to oppose HB 2290.

I would be glad to discuss this matter with you at your convenience or if need be, to visit your office to address the issues raised in this letter.

Thank you for your consideration.

Dan Zielinski
Senior Vice President, Public Affairs
Rubber Manufacturers Association
Washington DC

1 comment:

cnmoore said...

The tires caught fire in two projects in Washington State where old tires were used for fill under a highway reconstruction. It seems that if the tires are damaged and the wire beads are exposed to the air, the oxidation (rusting) of the steel wire beads generates heat, which builds up in the combined mass of many tires, and ignites the tires. The Washington Department of Transportation may be able to provide more information. There have also been many cases of tire piles igniting throughout the US.

How do you put out a fire in tires in a mine shaft? What do you do about the soil and groundwater contamination from PAH's, heavy metals etc. from the molton and in-completely burned rubber?