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Tire pile raises issues of environmental law

The Georgia Department of Transportation has its work cut out for it. Along with the Environmental Protection Division and the Department of Natural Resources in metro Atlanta, an investigation is underway to determine who violated environmental law by dumping thousands of tires on property recently abandoned by GDOT. Not only are the tires an eyesore, but they are a health hazard, a fire hazard and an environmental danger.

After moving from the maintenance facility on a strip of property between a senior retirement community and soccer fields, GDOT used gates and chains to keep trespassers off the unused property. However, someone broke through the gates and began systematically dumping tires on the land. Currently, a river of an estimated 15,000 tires winds through the property.

The tire pile was discovered in August, but by that time, those responsible had already had nearly five years to create the massive dump. The state expects it will take six months and about $45,000 to clean up the mess and dispose of the tires appropriately. DeKalb County had planned to purchase the property from the state to expand its park, which may leave the county responsible for the cleanup.

Cement barricades are now in place at the property's entrance, and police are actively searching for whomever is responsible for the massive tire pile. However, those in Georgia are no strangers to tire dumps and other violations of environmental law. Often, citizens are victims of such actions when their private property is used for the disposal of hazardous materials. Fortunately, there are attorneys who advocate passionately for the environment and will assist those facing such issues.

Source: cbs46.com, "Tires found illegally dumped on state property in DeKalb County", Adam Murphy, Feb. 2, 2018

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