The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

October 16, 2013

AIM getting cleaner

Ohio EPA tells company to get rid of more than 120 tires

ASHTABULA — Except for a pile of tires, motorists traveling on the West Avenue overpass may have noticed there has been a lot of clean up going on at Ashtabula Iron and Metal (AIM).

The bridge offers a good behind-the-fence view of the now-bankrupt recycling and demolition company at 1015 W. 30th St., and 2710 West Ave.

In May, AIM received its final orders from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency — remove more than 120,000 scrap tires on the property by Sept. 9 or the EPA would get a court order to seek access to the property to have an EPA contractor remove the tires, said Mike Settles, spokesman for the Ohio EPA.

“AIM cleaned up a lot and the EPA did a lot of the clean up,”  City Manager Jim Timonere said at last week’s pre-council meeting.

Settles said environmental concerns remain on the property, and the Ohio EPA has referred the case to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

The Ohio EPA first became aware of the tires from a search warrant and report received April 27, 2012 from the Municipal Court in which Ashtabula Fire Chief Ron Pristera told the court he had “good reason to believe” that the property at 1015 W. 30th St. had conditions which “are or may become hazardous to public health, safety or welfare.”

Additional information about the property came from a copy of Pristera’s April 30, 2012 report to the court. It was in that report that Pristera said the inspectors carried a radiological meter with them after a contractor previously alluded to the possibility of “low-level nuclear waste” on the site.

The EPA immediately investigated the site and inspectors discovered ground spills, pallets, railroad ties, lumber and thousands of scrap tires.

Consequently, the owners/operators of AIM received citations from the EPA, demanding they take immediate action to clean up the site, secure the site and submit a closure plan, or face fines of up to $10,000 a day.

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