Couple is tired of tires

OXFORD, AR (KAIT)- An Oxford couple is seeking help after tolerating a massive pile of tires next to their home for nearly three years.

Melissa and Robert Long don't have far to walk before they start to see piles of tires.

 "Soon after we purchased our land, we were cleaning up and we noticed this big pile of tires," Melissa Long said. 

Big piles of tires everywhere you look. Melissa says they have been trying for three years to get those tires removed.

"We've gone to the local court officials and they referred us to the EPA," she said.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality says after sending an inspector out to the property earlier this month, they have turned over the complaint to the White River Solid Waste Management District in Batesville.  

Katherine Benenati is the spokesperson for ADEQ and said there is a protocol they follow when a landowner is in violation.

 "Wherever that violation or alleged violation too place we get in touch with the district and make sure they are aware of it and that they can either lead an investigation or assist with an investigation," said Benenati.  

She said ADEQ's first priority is getting the site cleaned up.

 "If someone is unwilling to or unable to clean up a property then we would take enforcement action," she said. "What we'll do is follow up with the district and work with them as needed to address the situation."

Benenati says an inspector from ADEQ inspected the property at the beginning of July and observed that there was still more than a thousand tires on the property.

"He did see evidence that some of the tires had been removed from the site so we have forwarded the complaint to the solid waste district," she said.

The White River Solid Waste Management District in Batesville. But after making calls to White River, I was told ADEQ is responsible for the clean-up.



Last year the EPA out of Little Rock loaded up a trailer full of tires but has not returned for more. The Longs said the EPA handed over their case to a local health unit.

 "They pretty much told us it was out of their hands and that there is nothing they can do because they don't have the man power," Long said.

Melissa says she is worried about the health of her family.

"My son is not allowed outside because of the mosquitoes and snakes," she said. "We would like to see these tires taken away pretty immediately."

And if not immediately, Melissa says they are considering moving away.

"It's just pretty terrible, we've been very patient for two years over two years and we've taken it to the highest authority that we know of," she said.

Izard County Judge David Sherell said without a county ordinance in place their hands are tied on what action they can take. I have also tried reaching out to the landowner. We will continue to update you on this story as more information becomes available.

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