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Iowa men must pay $90,000, dispose of 2,000 tires 

Owners of former TNT Disposal collected waste tires from multiple local tire retailers and auto shops and dumped them at numerous locations

Des Moines, Iowa—A judge has ordered two Scott County men to pay $90,000 in penalties and to clean up an estimated 2,000 tires at a residential property in Davenport. 

Timothy James Peters and David Omar Mercado must stop depositing tires and remove all tires within 60 days, according to the order by District Judge Tom Reidel. Peters and Mercado had previously been found in default after they failed to respond to a lawsuit filed June 15 by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, representing the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). 

According to the lawsuit, in September 2021, Peters and Mercado individually, and on behalf of their now inactive company, TNT Disposal, collected waste tires from multiple local tire retailers and auto shops and dumped them at multiple locations. However, Peters, Mercado, and the company were not authorized to haul waste tires or store more than 500 passenger tire equivalents, because the DNR had denied their application for a permit in 2020 due to incomplete information. 

The DNR issued notices of violation to Peters and Mercado in September and October and followed up with visits to the men’s rental property in Davenport. DNR staff continued to visit the site over the next few months and found that more tires appeared to have been deposited there. 

On Jan. 3, 2022, the DNR issued administrative orders to Peters and Mercado, ordering them to cease hauling and dumping the tires, to dispose of the tires properly, and to pay $10,000 each.  

Peters and Mercado did not appeal or comply, the lawsuit alleged. Subsequent DNR visits confirmed the tire pile remained. In May, the Environmental Protection Commission voted to refer Peters and Mercado to the AG’s office.  

Judge Reidel ordered the pair to pay a $70,000 civil penalty, in addition to the administrative penalties that had never been paid. The judge also permanently enjoined them from any further violation of Iowa solid waste laws. 

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