Gov. Pat Quinn has signed new legislation meant to improve oversight of used-tire storage and processing sites that can pose major environmental hazards.
Thursday’s signing comes one year after a massive fire broke out at a tire-recycling facility in central Illinois. The fire in Hoopeston last June engulfed tens of thousands of tires and took weeks to extinguish. Many homes in neighboring communities had to be evacuated. The cleanup also took several weeks.
Among the provisions in the new law is a requirement that sites holding more than 10,000 passenger tires must acquire a solid waste permit. The permits mandate regular inspections and extensive record keeping. Illinois’ state fire marshal later ruled the Hoopeston fire was accidental and caused by static electricity generated by workers.