The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is awarding $357,450 in grants for scrap tire cleanup projects.
Seven scrap tire sites will be completely cleaned. Grants also will support 27 community cleanup days to reduce potential health and environmental hazards associated with the tires, including fire and mosquitoes.
Runoff from scrap tire fires can contaminate groundwater and surface water. The sites are a breeding ground for mosquitoes carrying disease such as West Nile virus.
The DEQ program's mission is to ensure proper disposal of scrap tires generated in the state and cleanup of piles consisting of 500 or more.
Program staffers regularly inspect scrap tire collection sites, processors, end-users and generators, which include tire dealers and auto scrap yards.