The state says it's the largest tire pile in the state. Now the owner of a former junkyard in Milton is back in court facing a contempt charge for failing to clean up the mess.
The state shut down Gilbert Rhoades' salvage yard in 2009 after 40 years in business. Since then, the Agency of Natural Resources has been pushing Rhoades to clean up hazardous waste and get rid of an estimated 200,000 tires.
Now the state has hired a Maine contractor to haul the tires away and is suing Rhoades to pay for the removal. The state is skeptical of Rhoades' claim that he can't afford to pay for the cleanup.
"We believe we are entitled to more accounting disclosures and we made that argument to the court. The defendant has made disclosures over time. We think that those are incomplete, materially incomplete. And we tried to explain to the court why we thought there should be more disclosures. And then there was a particular piece of equipment that we thought the court should be requiring him to essentially recover. That could be used to help pay for the cleanup of his property," Vt. Assistant Attorney General Scot Kline said.
The state started removing lead and potentially contaminated soil Monday. There is no word on how long the process will take. But what's clear-- the $75,000 the state has committed plus $10,000 from the town will only pay for about 40 percent of the cleanup.
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