Please Help - The Great Fishtown Tire Lot
Attn: All Who Care About Our Neighborhood and being GREEN
I've filed two EPA complaints about the lot at N. Beach & Susquehanna Ave. (Approx address is 1880 N Beach).
One for the tires (land/dumping) and another for the tire fire (air hazard), with photos of each attached. There's other complaints in play to L&I and to the PA Dept of Health for the mosquitoes (thanks goes to Mr. Potts for filing these on behalf of FNA/ORCA residents).
The EPA would probably love to hear from you if you live near the lot. The more complaints about the same company/location coming from nearby residents, the more likely it will receive attention by the EPA and they will send an inspector out to the physical site and then approach Glasgow about this.
Considering the fact that Glasgow is a provider of construction materials, it has to hold on to permissible pollution permits that it must re-up on a routine cycle. A NOV (notice of violation) would probably get Glasgow's attention much quicker than direct complaints or news articles since regulatory bodies like the EPA can have a direct effect on the company's bottom line.
If you're in the 19125, why not take a couple minutes and fill out an information complaint form? Here's the form:
Report an Environmental Violation | Enforcement and Compliance | U.S. EPA
Here's the details you need to provide (cut and paste as you need or substitute your own text):
Company Name: Glasgow, Inc.
Company Address: 104 Willow Grove Avenue, Glenside, PA 19038
Violation type: Intentional
Violations: Land/Air, Company
Illegal tire dump of at least 8,000 tires as of 09/01/2011. A tire fire occurred on this lot on 09/01/2011.
Location of hazard (you can just cut and paste this):
1880 N Beach St, Philadelphia, PA 19125 (Approximate), closest intersection is N. Beach St & Susquehanna Ave. [ GPS LOCATION: 39.968927,-75.122457 ]
If you want to cite the two Daily News articles about the tires and the fire, here they are:
Firefighters extinguish suspicious blaze in abandoned lot | PhillyConfidential | 09/01/2011
Marquis of Debris: Mysteriously, a tire pile grows in Fishtown | Philadelphia Daily News | 09/01/2011
If you want to re-use my photo of the tire fire, here it is (right click on the picture and copy/paste the URL to it in the complaint form):
Last edited by ArcticSplash; 10-03-2011 at 06:16 AM.
Most permitting and enforcement is delegated to PADEP. You should file complaints there as well.
Report an Incident
Thanks so much! Filling this one out as well.
Originally Posted by Politburo
ETA: The direct link to the DEP form is here:
The PA form is similar to the EPA one, but it also asks for the company's telephone number, the telephone number for Glasgow, Inc. is 215-884-8800
Last edited by ArcticSplash; 10-03-2011 at 07:52 AM.
I'd be happy to fill one out too.
But one of the consequences of fracking in PA is they just about completely defunded the DEP, I don't know how much good complaints will do. This is a good example of the "job killing onerous regulations" that the GOP is fighting hard to get rid of.
Originally Posted by StrangeTanks
True, but the EPA hasn't been defunded yet so there's still some hope there. They can also initiate a cleanup and enter the site no matter what Glasgow does or says and send Glasgow the bill. The City could also do the same thing if it passed a resolution to clean up the lot and tie a lien onto the property to pay for it, then sever the deed from Glasgow if it so wished, so that another developer/investor could acquire the property for development.
The tire fire photo I sent in should be enough to prove that a strong potential air hazard exists since it's already partially burned once already, and that was a tiny part of just one of the 30+ tire mounds that caught fire on Sep 1.
If a conflagration happens at this site, I would imagine mass evacuations would have to occur or people would be stuck indoors with their houses closed up. Most people remember what happened during and after the Port Richmond tire fire. To see a repeat of it on a much larger scale would be ruinous.
To give you an idea of the scale, the two land piers where the tires sit is about the size of Lincoln Financial Field. And at the rate new tires are being dumped into this lot it will be absolutely jammed solid by next summer. You don't have to take my word for it... the site is completely wide open and anyone can walk in and out of there, all the way up to the Delaware River.
By the way, here's the strategy:
Glasgow happens to be a road materials company, which means it has to have a lot of run-off permits for the items they store on surface lots around the Delaware Valley.
To have the EPA asking questions will put the fear of God into Glasgow, because like an IRS audit, the first and foremost fear on their minds is that this neglected lot might trigger off a full audit of all of Glasgow's permits and their surface properties.
If they have problems going on anywhere else in the company, this could be like a deck of cards and cause a hit to their balance sheet. Coming from experience with my father, who just recently retired as a state regulator who performed the on-site inspections as a field agent... even a state inspection alone can trigger off alarm bells at a company that has material hazard issues. An NOV with a referral to the EPA usually gets the direct attention of a CEO, not just the Risk/Compliance officer at a company.
Believe it or not, that usually has a much more profound effect at starting a clean-up than news articles or even direct complaints sent to the company by nearby residents.
If you live or work in Fishtown, Northern Liberties or East Kensington, please take a few minutes out of your day to file this EPA and DEP complaint (all the information you need is here on this thread along with the links to the forms). Many local neighbors have filed complaints on their own. The more responses the PA Department of Environmental Protection and the EPA receive on this matter, the more likely they are to investigate the illegal tire dump and take action.
Both forms are very easy to fill out and shouldn't take more than 2 minutes each to complete.
I'd recommend forwarding to those civic associations and the Nothern Liberties message board.
ORCA and FNA are aware of it since it was a target of the last tire roundup.
Originally Posted by gren
I don't have an account at NL's message board, could you cut and paste it there?
Nevermind... I just registered and posted to their board. Hopefully that generates a few more dozen complaints or so. I think the EPA has about 20 separate complaints on the same lot. Hopefully this might get it up to 45 given enough time. That should be enough to trigger a field agent visit.
Originally Posted by ArcticSplash
Sorry, I'm not a member. I was just throwing out (obvious) suggestions. Best of luck with this.
Originally Posted by ArcticSplash
I have some positive news. Two people were caught Friday contributing to the tire mountains and were arrested. Given the volume of tires there, I'd think there are more also doing it than just those two, but it's a start.
THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED!
The EPA has made a personal inspection to the property and is now in contact with both the owners and the City.
Keep this up Arctic, and you'll be the next Paul Levy...
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