Attorney general cites Thomasboro tire recycler

THOMASBORO — A Champaign County tire recycling company has been cited by the Illinois attorney general's office for leaving thousands of tires out in the open.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan this week announced a multi-count complaint has been filed against Astro Tire Removal, 905 Church St., Thomasboro.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency staff have been inspecting the property, a registered tire storage site since 2009. Over the years inspectors found tires stacked in piles and scattered, uncovered, about the grounds in violation of state environmental standards. Some of the waste tires were covered by overgrown vegetation, according to the Illinois EPA.

Water accumulating in tires can create a breeding ground for mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus, according to health officials.

"Essentially, this business is an open dump in violation of Illinois law," Madigan said in a written statement. "I'm filing this complaint to ensure that the public health concerns at this site are addressed effectively," she said.

Madigan spokesman Scott Mulford said the case was referred to the attorney general's office from the EPA.

"We will work with the EPA in trying to get the place in compliance as soon as possible," he said.

The complaint, filed in Champaign County Circuit Court, alleges that Astro Tire Removal failed to document it had the financial resources to process the used tires and legally remove them from the site.

Each of the six counts carries a possible civil penalty of $50,000 and $10,000 per day the violations continue.

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