The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has renewed August Mack Environmental Inc.'s contract for environmental remediation at the Kirby's Tire Recycling scrap tire site near Sycamore.
The $837,000 contract, which runs from July 1 to June 30, 2005, calls on August Mack to continue the groundwater treatment and soil remediation it began with the first contract it won in 2001. According to the contract, the company will treat about 2 million gallons of water annually and treat about 750 tons of impacted soil-all residuals from a massive, deliberately set fire that struck the site in August 1999.
The local fire department and EPA acted quickly to contain the fire by mid-September that year, but the blaze scorched about 18 acres of the 140-acre site, according to the EPA. Runoff from the fire as well as the massive amounts of earth and clay used to bury the conflagration are problems.
The Kirby tire pile, begun in the 1950s, held about 30 million to 50 million tires when the EPA ordered it cleaned in 1998. The agency undertook the cleanup when the Kirbys failed to do so.
An estimated 9 million tires remain on the site. ``It's a huge site,'' said Scott Mounts, manager of August Mack's Ohio office. ``The first time I went into it, I got lost.''
He estimates the cleanup will take four to five years to complete.
Mr. Large estimates it will take four to five years to complete the cleanup at the Kirby site-three to remove 3 million tires annually, and another year or two to complete groundwater and soil remediation.
Central Ohio Contractors Inc. won the contract for scrap tire removal at the Kirby site in September 2000. In July 2002, COC was bought out by a larger firm, Liberty Tire Services of Ohio, according to Mr. Large.
The Kirby tire pile was begun in the 1950s by the late Nobel Kirby, founder of Kirby's Tire Recycling. In 1998, the EPA ordered the Kirby family to begin cleaning up the site, which held an estimated 30 million to 50 million tires.