Percy Barrett, Opposition Environment and Conservation Critic and MHA for
the District of Bellevue, is still asking questions about the storage of
discarded tires and what government plans to do to deal with the
increasingly serious stockpiles.
"It is time for the minister to stop
hiding behind the officials on this issue and answer the questions which the
people of this province are asking," said Barrett. "People are paying a $3
disposal fee per tire with the expectation that the government will use this
money to recycle or dispose of the tire in a safe manner. At this point,
government is collecting the $3 fee, but not recycling the tires.
"The minister has allowed huge stockpiles of tires to build up and he is
not able to provide evidence that proper safety provisions are in place at
storage sites. The minister still has not answered questions surrounding
proper training and equipment to local fire departments to deal with a
serious tire fire.
"Rather than improving, this problem is getting more serious. There were
indications from officials at the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB)
that there would be some kind of announcement by the end of this month. The
Town of Stephenville has already told government they do not intend to allow
a stockpile of approximately 300,000 tires to remain in their town
indefinitely. I want the minister, who seemed to have all the answers when
he was in opposition, to tell the people of this province how this growing
problem will be dealt with."
Earlier this month Barrett raised concerns about the possibility of tire
fires at major storage sites around the province. Once started, tire fires
are extremely difficult to put out and have far-reaching effects on public
safety and the environment that can include contamination of surface water,
groundwater, air and soil. It is estimated that the province has stockpiled
between 1.5 and 2 million tires and an additional 500,000 tires are disposed
in the province each year.