Contractors have begun the final phase of the cleanup of the Kirby's Tire Recycling Inc. site near Sycamore, according to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA).
Environmental Quality Management Inc. of Cincinnati won a $3.26 million contract from the OEPA to remove the remaining 5 million to 7 million tires at the 140-acre site, along with contaminated soil. The project is expected to take at least until year-end, a spokeswoman said.
An estimated 25 million tires once were stockpiled at the site. The OEPA had just begun cleanup there when, in August 1999, it was set on fire by arsonists, who were later convicted, sentenced to prison terms and ordered to pay restitution. The fire destroyed some 6 million tires.
Last October Judge Kathleen Aubry of the Wyandot County Common Pleas Court fined former Kirby's Tire owners Doris Kirby, daughter Rebecca Williams and son-in-law Donald Williams $20 million for violating the state's scrap tire and solid waste laws and ordered them to pay past and future cleanup costs.
To date, the OEPA has spent more than $13 million to remove tires and $6 million to treat contaminated surface water at the site.