(TRENTON) – Legislation Assemblyman Gary Schaer sponsored to continue the identification and remediation of waste tire sites in New Jersey passed the full Assembly, 70-0, on Wednesday.
Schaer said the bill follows the recommendation of the most recent Department of Environmental Protection Auditor Report.
The bill (A-4395) requires any person responsible for the accumulation of waste tires at a site to remove and properly dispose of the waste tires and bring the site into compliance with the “Solid Waste Management Act.”
“Waste tire piles pose a risk to public safety and the environment,” said Schaer (D-Bergen, Passaic). “These unwanted tires become magnets for stagnation and can emit particles and hazardous substances into the air, soil, and water that will pose human health risks and environmental contamination.”
“The runoff from scrap tire piles can seep into our groundwater and jeopardize the quality of our drinking water. Tire piles also provide the ideal breeding ground for mosquitos potentially leading to increased cases of the Zika virus or the West Nile virus.”
The bill also requires the Department of Environmental Protection to develop as part of the Local Tire Management Program a recurring process to identify illegal waste tire sites as the tires accumulate.
“A critical component of the bill is the recurring process to identify illegal waste tire sites as the tires accumulate and to monitor those sites annually, including previously remediated sites,” continued Schaer. “This requirement would ensure all sites are discovered and cleaned up before becoming an even greater hazard to our communities.”
The process would be required to include, on an annual basis, the inspection of junk yards, previously remediated sites, and other sites where there has been accumulation of waste tires in the past, and the collection of information from local government officials and the public concerning possible illegal waste tire sites.
“Continuing to identify and remove piles of waste tires ensures protection of New Jersey’s water resources and overall environmental health,” Schaer added.
The measure would additionally require the department to prepare and issue an annual written report on the status of the program beginning one year after the date of enactment of this bill into law.
The bill was released by the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee on January 19 and will now go to the Senate President for further consideration.