- The state of Louisiana and the federal government are looking into the stockpiling of 650,000 pounds of old, shredded tires at the Tangipahoa Parish landfill in Independence, LA.
- The state Department of Environmental Quality said it did not approve stockpiling the tires, and told the parish in a compliance order that it could be fined almost $4 million. In addition, the federal government has subpoenaed the DEQ, looking at a money trail with the Louisiana Waste Tire Program.
- DEQ filed a lawsuit against Environmental Industries Recycling, which the state pays to take old tires to landfills. The lawsuit says DEQ overpaid EIR by $3.5 million, and partly blamed Tangipahoa Parish for failing to account properly for its tire waste. EIR owner Buddy DuPuy told WVUE in a statement, “We believe that all of the waste tire material processed and delivered by EIR has been in accordance with the regulations."
The disposal of tires is a charged issue in many states, where illegal dumping can be a problem.
This complex case in Louisiana shows the importance of monitoring all the way down the line. The state says the illegal stockpiling goes back to Jan. 1, and WVUE reported that some parish council members were unaware a stockpile even existed.
The parish has until Aug. 12 to respond to DEQ. Parish Finance Director Jeff McKneely told The Advocate that legal assistance is needed to determine if the parish was properly following permits it obtained from DEQ for use of the tire material.
"We believe that we are correct in how we used the materials under the permits we have, but DEQ thinks otherwise. When we meet with DEQ, we send an engineer and they have lawyers. We need a lawyer to talk to their lawyers," McKneely said.