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Tire Fire

INTRODUCTION

This Industry Profile Fact Sheet is presented by the EPA Region 3 to assist state, local, and municipal agencies, and private groups in the initial planning and evaluation of sites being considered for remediation, redevelopment or reuse. It is intended to provide a general description of site conditions and contaminants which may be encountered at specific industrial facilities. This fact sheet is presented for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as a federal policy or directive.

INDUSTRY, PROCESS, OR SITE DESCRIPTION

Tire storage areas can potentially have thousands and up to millions of tires stored at one location. These storage areas are often non-regulated from a state or federal perspective. In many cases, local license and inspection or nuisance ordinances are the only potentially applicable regulations.

CHARACTERISTIC RAW MATERIALS

Many types of materials are combined in the tire production process, including formic acid, lead, naphtha, adhesives, oils, and steel belts.

WASTE STREAMS AND POTENTIALLY AFFECTED ENVIRONMENTAL MEDIA

Tire fires generate irritant smoke from the incomplete or pyrolytic (oxygen deficient) combustion that can affect areas far from the fire itself. Water from fire fighting efforts can travel to local rivers and streams, causing contamination and possible fish kills downstream. A pyrolytic oily tar material may be formed during a large, prolonged tire fire, causing constituent materials to recombine chemically and form a more toxic group of substances in soils and surface waters.

SAMPLING STRATEGIES

Soil samples should be taken at any areas that have been impacted by a tire fire. Water samples should also be obtained from contained fire run-off or run-off impacted waterways in the immediate area.

Surface and subsurface soil sampling should be performed from the suspected contaminated areas outward to the suspected clean areas. Once the primary contaminated areas are established, grid or random sampling may be performed to confirm the suspected clean areas.

On-site and local wells may be sampled if groundwater is an environmental concern. Installation of monitoring wells or other groundwater sampling techniques should be evaluated if it is necessary to fill data gaps.

SUGGESTED ANALYTICAL PARAMETERS

Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylene (BTEX) Analysis

Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Analysis

Region 3 | Mid-Atlantic Cleanup | Mid-Atlantic Brownfields & Land Revitalization


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