ODESSA, TX (KWES) - "Inadequate fire protection," that's just one of the many violations issued to BG Tire Disposal following a week-long tire fire in Odessa. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) started investigating in April. We have just received the results from that investigation.
Thousands of tires go up in flames in Odessa, sparking an emergency investigation by the TCEQ, local, state and federal officials. It started the day of the fire, April 9.
Now months later, the official report is complete. On April 25, the regional TCEQ office began a record review investigation, looking into whether the facility was in compliance with tire processing and storage regulations.
The result were the following violations (some are repeated):
Three violations for:
- Failed to obtain a scrap tire storage site registration. The site was given temporary approval to store a 30-calendar day supply of 5,000 used of scrap tires on site in enclosed, lockable trailers until the tires are processed and utilized as fill material in the approve Land Reclamation Project Using Tires (LRPUT). This temporary authorization expired on September 20, 2007.
- Failed to limit the number of whole used or scrap tires on the ground to a maximum of three piles. The facility had eight piles of tires on the site.
- Three to four areas which were covered in more than 8,000 square feet in stored scrap tires or tire pieces.
- Failed to obtain approval to store scrap tires or tire pieces in areas larger than 8,000 square feet.
- Failed to meet the minimum of 40 feet from the property line or easement of the site. Specifically all areas along the eastern fence line.
- Failed to obtain the necessary documentation for variance regarding the 40 feet set back distances of the site by the executive director.
- Failed to split, quarter or shred the scrap tires onsite within 90 days from the delivery date and failed to apply appropriate vector controls as evidenced by two large separate bee hives within the tire piles on the southeast storage area.
- Failed to enclose the site with a 6 foot in height chain-link type fence. The facility utilizes existing three strand barbed wire fence on all sides of the facility.
- Failed to display sign including the words "scrap tire site," registration number and operating hours at the entrance of the facility.
- Regulated entity submitted annual reports for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, but failed to submit seven annual reports for the years of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
- Failed to submit seven annual reports for the years of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
- Failed to obtain proper storage site registration.
- Failed to supply adequate fire protection in regards to the large amount of tires that were stored onsite.
- Failed to obtain a scar tire storage site registration and had more than a 30 day supply of tires on the ground at the time of the tire fire
- Failed to monitor for vector control as evidenced by the two large bee hives located within scrap tire piles on the southeast area of the site.
- Entity submitted annual reports for 2005-2009 but failed to submit seven annual reports for the years of 2010-2016.
A letter was sent out to the owner of the facility on June 28 notifying them to make changes immediately.
On October 29, 2012, the regional TCEQ office conducted a compliance evaluation. Investigators found the front gates were unlocked and the site appeared to be abandoned. No violations were documented.
On January 4, 2013, the owner of the facility said she had stopped taking tires due to difficulty keeping employees and lack of general tire equipment.
On June 3, 2016, the TCEQ notes a compliance evaluation made to verify site conditions and concerns of the spread of Zika. Investigators said the gate was vandalized to a degree that someone could enter the site on foot. No violations were documented.
We reached out to BG Tire Disposal for comment. The owner told us she is out of town.