Space tires

Approximately 750,000 abandoned tires can be seen from space at 10870 Farm-to-Market 1783 in Gatesville.

CORYELL COUNTY — A state-owned piece of land in Coryell County with an estimated 750,000 abandoned tires sitting on it is raising health concerns for people in the Gatesville area.

Neighbors are complaining about possible diseases resulting from the tire accumulation, including Zika and West Nile Virus from standing water in the tires, according to a KCEN report.

The Texas Veterans Land Board, the current property owner, has been pursuing options for disposal of the scrap tires.

Coryell County Judge John Firth said the state has had representatives on the land several times in the past few years, and is working to obtain the resources to take action through a grant or other means to clean up the land.

Camie’s Tire Company operated a scrap tire facility on the site approximately five miles west of Fort Hood, at 10870 Farm to Market 1783 in Gatesville.

Camie’s Tire operated under a scrap tire registration, issued in May 2000.

Andrea Morrow, media relations manager for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said TCEQ initiated an administrative enforcement action against Camie’s Tire in 2001 for violating TCEQ rules governing scrap tire management.

“The case was referred to the Office of the Attorney General because Camie’s Tire was in violation of an agreed order issued by the commission on Dec. 17, 2004,” Morrow said. “An enforcement case was filed in state district court, and Brian and Camie Crisp signed an agreed final judgment in December 2006.”

“The state had given a permit for that tire processing to take place on the land over a decade ago, and the state land office has the lead as the owner of the land since the land was reprocessed from the original state government land office,” said Firth.

The Crisps subsequently defaulted on their loan with the Texas Veterans’ Land Board, according to Morrow, which allowed the state to take back ownership of the land.

“The enforcement action against Brian and Camie Crisp has been resolved,” Morrow said. “The Texas Veterans Land Board, the current property owner, has been pursuing options for disposal of the scrap tires remaining at the site, estimated to be 750,000 (tires).”

The tires, however, are still there.

“Any citizen with a concern about the land should contact the state government land office,” Firth said. | 254-501-7464

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