We are happy to report that hard work does, indeed, pay off. After months long effort with state lawmakers, Texas Heritage Protection has succeeded in helping get San Antonio’s most notorious scrap tire pile cleaned up.
In June, we took State Rep. John Lujan to San Antonio to see the more than 2 million tires dangerously dumped near homes and schools. At first glance, as a retired firefighter, Lujan knew these tires so carelessly dispersed over 29-acres could become a total nightmare.
This 29-acre site:
-Has about 2.3 million tires on it, making it the second largest unauthorized scrap tire pile in Texas.
-At about $2-per passenger tire, would cost more than $4.4 million to clean up.
-Is less than three miles from two schools and residential homes.
-Local officials estimate that if the site caught fire, the fire would burn for nine months.
-Is teeming with mosquitoes and rodents (and at one time feral hogs!) due to the high weeds around the site and difficulty spraying conditions.
Formally known as the Applewhite Safe Tire Facility site, Rep. Lujan, R-San Antonio, recognized that a huge dump of highly flammable tires in a climate like this is constantly at risk of bursting into flames. To make matters worse, the site is in his district, posing a potential danger to his constituents.
After a successful town hall meeting (where we were happy to see some our lovely Texas Heritage Protection members!), we actually received a lot of “no” from state entities. They claimed lack of funding, even though ensuring dumps like this do not occur is a main party of the state entities’ job. But nevertheless, Lujan’s, our’s and community member’s continual ruckus about it made a difference.
We’re happy to announce that, last week, a state judge has formerly ordered Eclipse Renewables, the party legally responsible for the dumped tires, to begin cleaning up the Applewhite Safe Tire facility.
Eclipse Renewables has 180 days to do as the judge ordered, so hopefully, that will be the end of Applewhite Safe Tire Facility. But we will be checking back later in the upcoming months to ensure this site doesn’t get caught up in legal crosshairs again!
A big thanks to everyone who helped.