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IEPA seeks court order against Hoopeston Company following fire

HOOPESTON — Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director Lisa Bonnett asked the Illinois attorney general's office on Wednesday to seek an immediate court order halting operations at J&R Used Tire Service, 103 E. Maple St., Hoopeston, following the large fire that started there Wednesday morning.

According to a written release, the IEPA is concerned about the effects the smoke may have on the environment and human health. The agency is also concerned about water used to fight the fire running off and contaminating neighboring properties and sewage or storm water systems.

The release said an inspection of the tire service by the IEPA on Feb. 6 resulted in multiple allegations of permit violations.

Among the violations were underestimating the amount of materials present at the site and not providing an emergency contingency response plan to local fire and police departments.

IEPA spokesman Andrew Mason said the agency issued a formal violation notice to the company in late March and had not received a response from the owners of the facility.

According to the release, the court injunction would force the owners to stop any activities on site, including the continued storage of used or waste tires; to access damage caused by the fire; to hire an environmental consultant to investigate the site and to remove and properly dispose of any remaining waste.

94.1 FM, WGFA