SMITHFIELD, R.I.-The owner of a massive tire pile in Smithfield has reached an agreement with two Rhode Island state agencies for the gradual cleanup of the pile. William Davis has arranged with the Rhode Island Attorney General and the state Department of Environmental Management to begin cleanup of the pile March 1.
The order was filed in December in Providence Superior Court.
Estimates of the Smithfield tire pile have gone as high as 33 million tires, but a spokesman for the DEM said the official state estimate is 6 million to 9 million tires.
Mr. Davis reportedly began collecting the tires in the early 1970s as a source of petroleum, in response to the energy crisis.
The agreement calls for Mr. Davis to remove 40,000 tires a month from the site through Jan. 1, 1996; 60,000 tires a month from then until Jan. 1, 1997; and 80,000 tires a month thereafter. Removal must be performed by ``a legitimate operator,'' according to the court order.
Mr. Davis must appear in court before June 30, 1998, to demonstrate completion of Phase 1 and then prove that he will remove two-thirds of the tires by Feb. 28, 2001, and all of them by June 30, 2004.
Non-compliance fines under the order begin at $100 for the first week, going to $250 per day after that week and $500 per day after 30 days.
Mr. Davis could not be reached for comment.