COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has determined it will cost about $30 million over the next 20 years to clean up the Kirby tire dump in Sycamore, a town in Northwest Ohio.
"We have said all along it will cost about a dollar per tire to clean the 20 million tires at the site," an agency spokeswoman said. "We just have some more definitive figures for the other costs."
The cost to clean contaminated soil at the site will range between $2.4 million and $7.6 million. The pile ignited last August, causing oily runoff to seep into nearby creeks and streams.
The Ohio EPA spent about $2 million last year to begin cleaning the site.
"We are now spending about $1.5 million per year to remove and shred tires at Kirby," the spokeswoman said. "That money is coming from our wholesale tire fee of 50 cents per tire."
The state's tire fee generates about $3.5 million annually, much of which goes to clean up the Kirby dump.
About $1 million is earmarked for the state's scrap tire fund, used to clean up the other 92 known dumps in the state.
The state Department of Development receives another $1 million.
The Ohio EPA estimates 30 million to 40 million scrap tires are dumped across Ohio, with Kirby responsible for half of that.
"We knew this would be a long process, but we are making sure we are getting it right," she said.