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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2005

Contact: Fred Mumford
(609) 984-1795

DEP MAKES FUNDING AVAILABLE TO COUNTIES AND
TOWNS FOR TIRE CLEANUPS

(05/22) TRENTON -- Trenton-Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced $2.2 million in grants to 16 counties and towns to clean up scrap tire piles and run tire collection programs that reduce public health threats from West Nile virus and hazardous fires.

"The grants will help local officials clean up tire piles to rid their towns of these unsightly hazards and improve public safety," said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey.

The 16 grants awarded range in amounts from $25,000 to $300,000.

"Cleaning up these piles, which create prime mosquito breeding grounds, is one of our strongest defenses in combating West Nile virus," said Commissioner Campbell. "Theses grants will help clear tire piles across the state that present environmental and health hazards to communities."

DEP awarded the grants to counties and municipalities on a competitive basis for the proper cleanup of abandoned tire piles. In order to fund as many complete tire pile cleanup projects as possible, a cap of $300,000 per applicant was used.

The approved projects range from sites with more than 20,000 tires to sites with smaller piles. It also includes funding for some county and local tire drop-off programs. Tire pile cleanups conducted on property that has been or will be acquired by a public agency received a priority ranking since these lands must be used for open space preservation. Grant funds cannot be used to clean up tires on any land currently in commercial use.

Discarded tires when allowed to accumulate even minimal amounts of water have the potential of becoming breeding grounds for mosquitos. West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause encephalitis, an infection that causes inflammation of the brain. People can become infected with the virus after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Tire piles also have the potential to catch fire, creating an environmental threat through the release of hazardous air pollutants and potential soil contamination in the surrounding area. In 1990, there was a large fire at a tire pile site in Tabernacle that involved an estimated 200,000 tires.

County and municipal officials applied to DEP in December for funding to address tire pile sites in their area. DEP urges residents to report tire dumping to its environmental hotline at 877-WARNDEP (927-6337).

A list of counties and towns that received funding appears below:

LOCAL TIRE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM GRANTS

APPLICANT AMOUNT AWARDED OWNERSHIP OF LAND
Bergen Co $40,000.00 N/A
Burlington Co $300,000.00 Foster Farm
Cape May Co $65,000.00 Various/Public
East Amwell Twp $283,000.00 Meszaros
Essex Co $37,130.12 Various/Public
Franklin Twp $300,000.00 Mr. Conquest
Gloucester Co $30,000.00 N/A
Hunterdon Co $25,000.00 Various
Mercer Co $30,000.00 Tire recycling Program
Middlesex Co $93,890.00 Various/Public
Millville City $25,979.88 Millville
Morris Co $30,000.00 Various/Public
Mullica Twp $300,000.00 Perona
Ocean Co $300,000.00 Gilbert Farm
Salem Co $300,000.00 Brown/Gates
Warren Co $40,000.00 Tire Recycling Program
Total $2,200,000.00  
     

 

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Last Updated: March 18, 2005