MODOC — An eastern Indiana auto salvage yard is being cleaned up under an agreement reached after a tire fire first brought it to the attention of regulators.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management cited M&S Enterprises in the Randolph County town of Modoc for open burning of tires after the October 2012 fire. Inspectors also found open dumping of scrap metal, plastic waste and household waste at the salvage yard.
Business owner William Moore is making progress on properly disposing of its tires, agency spokesman Barry Sneed told The Star Press.
"Mr. Moore is near retirement and has had the salvage yard for several years," Sneed said. "He simply was not aware of most of the environmental rules that he had to follow. He takes in very little new inventory, so most of his inventory is old and has been there for a while."
An agreed order reached between Moore and state regulators in December requires the removal of all waste tires from the site about 20 miles southeast of Muncie within 180 days.
Moore, 71, said he is getting rid of the waste tires. He said the blaze happened when a welding torch being used by employees to remove a car bumper apparently caught leaves on fire. The flames spread to a waste tire pile that burned for a couple hours.
Bruce Palin, an assistant commissioner of IDEM, said the agency wasn't aware before the fire that M&S Enterprises was storing old tires. The state has about two dozen registered waste tire processors and a half dozen registered storage facilities.
"There may be more tire dumps out there we are not aware of, but normally they're fairly small ones, around 1,000 tires or so," Palin said.
— The Associated Press