Deal Reached to Remove 200,000 Scrap Tires from Dumping Grounds at Headwaters of South River
It took nearly two years, but the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), the South River Federation and landowners Louis and Joseph Boehm have agreed to remove an old tire dump from an area in Crownsville in the headwaters of the South River. The 37-acre property will eventually have a conservation easement placed over the most environmentally-sensitive areas of the property. The South River Federation announced the Consent Decree agreement on Wednesday.
The dump is the largest tire dump in the state of Maryland, which MDE estimates has over 200,000 scrap tires in three separate ravines. The area is off of St. Stephen’s Church Road. Aside from the extensive environmental problems caused by runoff, Anne Arundel County Fire Department’s former chief Robert Ray said in 2012 that the site was also a major fire hazard, with at least two major fires occurring at the site in the 1970s.
“These types of fires are very difficult to extinguish, can burn for months, create environmental problems from smoke and run‐off and needlessly put human lives at risk. In addition, the cost to fight and clean‐up such fires can reach into the millions of dollars,” Ray said at the time.
The state of Maryland will remove and dispose of the tires. They will approach the State Board of Public Works for funding authorization in the spring of 2014. They will use funds from the state Used Tire Cleanup and Recycling Fund.
“The South River Federation is extremely proud to have been able to work with MDE and the landowners to get this environmental hazard addressed,” said Federation interim executive director Lynn Buhl. “To be able to protect environmentally‐sensitive land adjacent to the South River Greenway and remove this ticking time bomb from the river’s headwaters are incredible achievements, and they could not have been accomplished without the continued pressure of our staff and legal counsel, Larry Liebesman of Holland & Knight.”
- South River Federation Exec Director to Step Down to Lead County Stormwater Program (southriversource.com)