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Protecting the Environment

For immediate release - Thursday, June 17, 2004.
Contact Bob Brammer - 515-281-6699.

Court Orders $1.5 Million Penalty and Cleanup by Marshall County Tire Disposal Facilities

Marshalltown. Bee Rite Tire Disposal, Inc., has been ordered to pay a $1.5 million civil penalty and remove and properly dispose of tires and all solid waste at tire processing facilities at Rhodes and State Center, Iowa, the Attorney General's Office said today.

The civil penalty and permanent injunction were entered today by District Court Judge Michael J. Moon at Marshall County District Court in Marshalltown. Defendants in the state lawsuit were Bee Rite Tire Disposal, Inc., Michael Trowbridge, and Jerry Yoemans. Trowbridge and Yoemans are owners and officers of Bee Rite Tire Disposal.

The Attorney General's lawsuit sought to enforce environmental laws and regulations, and earlier administrative enforcement orders issued by the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources. The DNR regulates tire disposal operations. The lawsuit alleged the defendants violated solid waste laws and regulations at both the Rhodes and State Center waste tire processing sites, including having more tires at the sites than authorized under terms of their permit, and violating fire code requirements such as having clear fire lanes between piles of tires.

The vast majority of the waste tires - probably about a million tires - are at the Rhodes site.

"Our first priority is to get sites like this cleaned up," said Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. "Tires can pose a very serious fire danger, and water in tires can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The Rhodes site is the last really big waste tire dump in Iowa." According to the DNR, none of the remaining sites in Iowa has more than 10,000 tires, and most have under 5,000.

Under terms of the Consent Order, Judgment and Decree filed this morning in Marshall County, Judge Moon ordered the defendants to pay a civil penalty of $1.5 million and pay a $10,000 administrative penalty assessed against them by the DNR in 2001. The defendants also were ordered to remove and properly dispose of all waste tires and solid waste at their facilities, and were permanently prohibited from accepting or storing waste tires at the facilities.

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