Hunt County officials have had to relocate the countywide tire roundup due to contamination concerns at the initial site.

The countywide tire roundup, which was scheduled to take place April 19, at the Esco Building, has been moved to the Hunt County Fairground’s north parking lot due to the fact that the Esco Building land has been deemed contaminated by the Environmental Protection Agency, said Hunt County Chief Environmental Enforcement Officer Mike Pierce.

“It’s contaminated. There is no doubt about that,” he said.

Whether the tire roundup would take place at all was in doubt Wednesday after Pierce found out that the initial location has been completely closed until further notice due to contamination concerns.

County Judge John Horn said the decision was made to close off the property because he did not feel comfortable sending residents to a piece of property deemed contaminated.

“Given the information I’ve received, I’m not going to send anyone to that building until we get further advice on how the EPA plans on (addressing it),” he said. “It’s one of those issues of responsibility.”

The EPA recently announced that the property the Esco Building is located on, as well as, the pieces of property where 35 surrounding residences and business sit are contaminated. The area is being considered for inclusion on the National Priorities List (NPL) as one of the most contaminated waste sites in Texas. Following numerous tests, the EPA found that the soil is contaminated with the toxic compound polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB).

“Nobody needs to be down (at that property) unnecessarily,” Horn said. “I’m not going to put anyone at risk. Health, safety and welfare that’s what we’re there for.”

The announcement, however, threw a kink in Pierce’s plans to hold the countywide tire roundup, which he had planned to hold at the county-owned Esco Building.

But after hearing the predicament, the Hunt County Fair Board granted Pierce permission to hold the tire round-up on its property.

“(The new location) is going to be more convenient,” Pierce said. “You just pull in and pull out.”

All the other details will remain the same. The roundup, scheduled from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. will be held in conjunction with Keep Greenville Beautiful’s Home and Garden Show. And because the roundup was so successful last year, Hunt County residents will not only be allowed to drop off tires free of charge, but car batteries and used oil will also be collected, Pierce said.

Each household will be allowed to turn in up to 25 automotive tires. No farm implement tires will be accepted. Up to 15 automotive batteries will be accepted and up to five gallons of car oil per person will be accepted. Tires, batteries and oil from local businesses will not be accepted.

The roundup is free, but participants must live in Hunt County and will be required to present some form of identification proving their place of residence.

“I’m glad it didn’t get canceled,” he said. “I sure have a lot of people looking forward to it.”

The Fairgrounds are located at 9800 Jack Finney Blvd. in Greenville.

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