TRP is registered with the TCEQ under the name “Waste Tire Thermal Conversion Plant,” according to the complaint. The facility accepts whole scrap tires for chipping, shredding and processing, and sells pelletized rubber and scrap metal from the tires, it said.
On Feb. 4, 2014, Mark McPherson, a Dallas attorney who represents TRP, informed the TCEQ by letter that the company planned to start pyrolysis operations. TRP had included pyrolysis in its original 2011 application to the agency, but the agency never authorized pyrolysis to be performed at the site, according to the complaint.
“The (pyrolysis) process turns a non-hazardous material, scrap tire, into a hazardous substance, a low-grade oil that may be used as fuel after additional refining,” the complaint said. “Tire pyrolysis facilities also have an inherent risk of fire and explosion if not properly designed, tested, operated and maintained.”