LOUISVILLE, Ky.Liberty Tire Recycling L.L.C. has permanently closed the Louisville tire recycling plant that was damaged in a fire last November.
Liberty Tire said it worked with the State of Kentucky on the discontinuation of collection and processing activities in Louisville with the goal of closing the plant July 31.
The company successfully achieved that goal, Liberty Tire said. Although the company has left the site permanently, it said it will continue to work onsite with the state to complete the agreed-upon remediation there.
The plant caught fire Nov. 3, 2014. The blaze began in a 30-foot outdoor pile of scrap tires, just as state inspectors arrived to see if Liberty Tire was complying with orders issued after the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection issued citations at the site in June 2014.
According to a report in the Louisville Courier-Journal, Liberty Tire has agreed to pay a $40,000 fine following an investigation by state regulators.
The fire burned for more than 30 hours, according to news reports.
The main reason for closing the Louisville facility, Liberty Tire said, was because the local market wasn't strong enough to support a full-scale tire recycling operation.
Liberty Tire said it will increase capacity at its other Kentucky facilities, where stronger markets will support the company's recycling initiatives.
Betty Manning and Michael Bickel, two residents of the Valley Station neighborhood where the Louisville plant was located, filed a class-action lawsuit against Liberty Tire Nov. 7, 2014, in Jefferson County (Ky.) Circuit Court, seeking compensatory and punitive damages for about 1,000 residents affected by the fire.