Stiff penalty proposed for tire recycling firm - Valley Morning Star : Local News

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Stiff penalty proposed for tire recycling firm

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Posted: Monday, January 13, 2014 11:15 am

HARLINGEN — Failure to meet city of Harlingen codes in the design of a scrap tire storage site is among the alleged violations that a state agency cited this month in a proposal to fine the tire recycling business an administrative penalty of nearly $79,000, public records show.

The Texas Register, the state’s weekly journal of state agency rules and proposed actions, notified the public on Jan. 3 of the opportunity to comment on alleged violations of state law and rules that staff of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) found regarding operations of the Tire Recycling & Processing LLC at 1309 Industrial Way, which began operations in 2012.

TCEQ found in part that the firm failed “to design the scrap tire storage site in accordance with all local fire codes and other applicable local codes.”

Neither City Manager Carlos Yerena nor business principal Marta Araceli Martinez responded Friday to the Valley Morning Star’s requests for comment on the developments, and, in the city’s case, also to say what it has done to address the findings documented more than six months ago.

The Star under the Texas Public Information Act has requested of the city copies of building and inspection reports on the facility, any warnings or citations, and building and occupancy permits that the city has issued to the firm from the time the business was established in Harlingen.

The Star will be sharing the information as it is provided as well as reporting on an in-depth compliance investigation that the state agency conducted in June and July 2013 of the firm’s operations.

The firm did not request a hearing or sign an Agreed Order regarding the agency’s findings within the allotted time, resulting in the proposal by TCEQ’s executive director to the agency’s commission to issue what is termed a Default Order.

This proposes a penalty of $78,750 and requirement that corrective action be taken. The firm can still request a hearing. The agency did not respond Friday to say if a hearing has been requested.

According to the notice in the Texas Register, the firm was found to have violated the Texas Administrative Code in that it failed:

>To submit to the TCEQ a written report and supporting documentation describing the details of a spill or discharge and supporting the adequacy of response actions within 30 days of the incident.

>To comply with the general prohibition on outdoor burning and the prohibition on the outdoor deposition of any material capable of igniting spontaneously.

>To design the scrap tire storage site in accordance with all local fire codes and other applicable local codes.

>To ensure that piles of crumb rubber are stored in a manner that does not constitute a fire hazard.

>To properly manage waste generated from a spill or discharge.

>To adhere to the calculated capacity of the facility as stated in the approved registration.

>To retain manifests for used or scrap tires or tire piles delivered to or removed from the facility.

>To prevent the unauthorized storage of municipal solid waste.

The deadline to comment, in writing, is 5 p.m. Feb. 3. Further information can be obtained by contacting Phillip M. Goodwin at 512-239-0675 or TCEQ’s regional office in Harlingen, 1804 West Jefferson St., or calling 956-425-6010.

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