DNR cites rural Traer man for illegal burning, disposal of tires

A rural Traer man has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1,300 for improper open burning and disposal of tires following a September 2022 burn of a pole shed.

Jeff Hoeg – who resides roughly 2.5 miles east of Traer – was ordered on Nov. 7 by the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources to pay the $1,300 administrative penalty within 60 days following an investigation.

According to the consent order, on Sept. 16, 2022, the DNR received a report from the Tama County Sheriff’s Dept. of black smoke from a fire that included tires near Traer. The deputy – who sent photos of the fire by text to the DNR field office – reported the owner claimed the tire fire to be accidental.

DNR field office staff met with Hoeg at his property on Sept. 19 where they viewed the burn site located west of the residence. The site still had “a few poles smoldering and many partially-burned tires and charred steel tire wire remained on the floor of the building” at that time, per DNR documents.

Hoeg reported to the Iowa DNR that about 20 tires were burned but that he had only meant to burn the farm building and did not intend to burn the tires. Later, Hoeg stated to the DNR he had been investigating options for proper tire disposal with Liberty Tire company, a recycling company based out of Des Moines.

In addition to the fine, Hoeg was ordered by the Iowa DNR to to remove and properly dispose of all burned material at the Tama Co. Landfill within 30 days, and to comply with waste and disposal regulations and open burning restrictions at all times in the future.

According to the Iowa DNR, the cost to dispose of or recycle a tire in the state of Iowa costs approximately $5 per tire, and transportation costs for the 40 mile round trip to the Tama Co. landfill for 20 tires would have cost approximately $200. The cost to legally dispose of 20 tires would thus have cost roughly $300.

Hoeg stated to the DNR he has since removed and properly disposed of the remaining material at the burn site.