Section 3734.85 | Enforcement and removal.
(A) On and after the effective date of the rules adopted under sections 3734.70, 3734.71, 3734.72, and 3734.73 of the Revised Code, the director of environmental protection may take action under this section to abate accumulations of scrap tires. If the director determines that an accumulation of scrap tires constitutes a danger to the public health or safety or to the environment, the director shall issue an order under section 3734.13 of the Revised Code to the person responsible for the accumulation of scrap tires directing that person, within one hundred twenty days after the issuance of the order, to remove the accumulation of scrap tires from the premises on which it is located and transport the tires to a scrap tire storage, monocell, monofill, or recovery facility licensed under section 3734.81 of the Revised Code, to such a facility in another state operating in compliance with the laws of the state in which it is located, or to any other solid waste disposal facility in another state that is operating in compliance with the laws of that state. If the person responsible for causing the accumulation of scrap tires is a person different from the owner of the land on which the accumulation is located, the director may issue such an order to the landowner.
If the director is unable to ascertain immediately the identity of the person responsible for causing the accumulation of scrap tires, the director shall examine the records of the applicable board of health and law enforcement agencies to ascertain that person's identity. Before initiating any enforcement or removal actions under this division against the owner of the land on which the accumulation is located, the director shall initiate any such actions against the person that the director has identified as responsible for causing the accumulation of scrap tires. Failure of the director to make diligent efforts to ascertain the identity of the person responsible for causing the accumulation of scrap tires or to initiate an action against the person responsible for causing the accumulation shall not constitute an affirmative defense by a landowner to an enforcement action initiated by the director under this division requiring immediate removal of any accumulation of scrap tires.
Upon the written request of the recipient of an order issued under this division, the director may extend the time for compliance with the order if the request demonstrates that the recipient has acted in good faith to comply with the order. If the recipient of an order issued under this division fails to comply with the order within one hundred twenty days after the issuance of the order or, if the time for compliance with the order was so extended, within that time, the director shall take such actions as the director considers reasonable and necessary to remove and properly manage the scrap tires located on the land named in the order. The director, through employees of the environmental protection agency or a contractor, may enter upon the land on which the accumulation of scrap tires is located and remove and transport them to a scrap tire recovery facility for processing, to a scrap tire storage facility for storage, or to a scrap tire monocell or monofill facility for storage or disposal.
The director shall enter into contracts for the storage, disposal, or processing of scrap tires removed through removal operations conducted under this section.
If a person to whom a removal order is issued under this division fails to comply with the order and if the director performs a removal action under this section, the person to whom the removal order is issued is liable to the director for the costs incurred by the director for conducting the removal operation, storage at a scrap tire storage facility, storage or disposal at a scrap tire monocell or monofill facility, or processing of the scrap tires so removed, the transportation of the scrap tires from the site of the accumulation to the scrap tire storage, monocell, monofill, or recovery facility where the scrap tires were stored, disposed of, or processed, and the administrative and legal expenses incurred by the director in connection with the removal operation. The director shall keep an itemized record of those costs. Upon completion of the actions for which the costs were incurred, the director shall record the costs at the office of the county recorder of the county in which the accumulation of scrap tires was located. The costs so recorded constitute a lien on the property on which the accumulation of scrap tires was located until discharged. Upon the written request of the director, the attorney general shall bring a civil action against the person responsible for the accumulation of the scrap tires that were the subject of the removal operation to recover the costs for which the person is liable under this division. Any money so received or recovered shall be credited to the scrap tire management fund created in section 3734.82 of the Revised Code.
If, in a civil action brought under this division, an owner of real property is ordered to pay to the director the costs of a removal action that removed an accumulation of scrap tires from the person's land or if a lien is placed on the person's land for the costs of such a removal action, and, in either case, if the landowner was not the person responsible for causing the accumulation of scrap tires so removed, the landowner may bring a civil action against the person who was responsible for causing the accumulation to recover the amount of the removal costs that the court ordered the landowner to pay to the director or the amount of the removal costs certified to the county recorder as a lien on the landowner's property, whichever is applicable. If the landowner prevails in the civil action against the person who was responsible for causing the accumulation of scrap tires, the court, as it considers appropriate, may award to the landowner the reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the landowner for bringing the action, court costs, and other reasonable expenses incurred by the landowner in connection with the civil action. A landowner shall bring such a civil action within two years after making the final payment of the removal costs to the director pursuant to the judgment rendered against the landowner in the civil action brought under this division upon the director's request or within two years after the director certified the costs of the removal action to the county recorder, as appropriate. A person who, at the time that a removal action was conducted under this division, owned the land on which the removal action was performed may bring an action under this division to recover the costs of the removal action from the person responsible for causing the accumulation of scrap tires so removed regardless of whether the person owns the land at the time of bringing the action.
Subject to the limitations set forth in division (G) of section 3734.82 of the Revised Code, the director may use moneys in the scrap tire management fund for conducting removal actions under this division. Any moneys recovered under this division shall be credited to the scrap tire management fund.
(B) The director shall initiate enforcement and removal actions under division (A) of this section in accordance with the following descending listing of priorities:
(1) Accumulations of scrap tires that the director finds constitute a fire hazard or threat to public health;
(2) Accumulations of scrap tires determined by the director to contain more than one million scrap tires;
(3) Accumulations of scrap tires in densely populated areas;
(4) Other accumulations of scrap tires that the director or board of health of the health district in which the accumulation is located determines constitute a public nuisance;
(C) The director shall not take enforcement and removal actions under division (A) of this section against the owner or operator of, or the owner of the land on which is located, any of the following:
(1) A premises where not more than one hundred scrap tires are present at any time;
(2) The premises of a business engaging in the sale of tires at retail that meets either of the following criteria:
(a) Not more than one thousand scrap tires are present on the premises at any time in an unsecured, uncovered outdoor location.
(b) Any number of scrap tires are secured in a building or a covered, enclosed container, trailer, or installation.
(3) The premises of a tire retreading business, a tire manufacturing finishing center, or a tire adjustment center on which is located a single, covered scrap tire storage area where not more than four thousand scrap tires are stored;
(4) The premises of a business that removes tires from motor vehicles in the ordinary course of business and on which is located a single scrap tire storage area that occupies not more than twenty-five hundred square feet;
(5) A solid waste facility licensed under section 3734.05 of the Revised Code that stores scrap tires on the surface of the ground if the total land area on which scrap tires are actually stored does not exceed ten thousand square feet;
(6) A premises where not more than two hundred fifty scrap tires are stored or kept for agricultural use;
(7) A construction site where scrap tires are stored for use or used in road resurfacing or the construction of embankments;
(8) A scrap tire collection, storage, monocell, monofill, or recovery facility licensed under section 3734.81 of the Revised Code;
(9) A solid waste incineration or energy recovery facility that is subject to regulation under this chapter and that burns scrap tires;
(10) A premises where scrap tires are beneficially used and for which the notice required by rules adopted under section 3734.84 of the Revised Code has been given;
(11) A transporter registered under section 3734.83 of the Revised Code that collects and holds scrap tires in a covered trailer or vehicle for not longer than thirty days prior to transporting them to their final destination.
(D) Nothing in this section restricts any right any person may have under statute or common law to enforce or seek enforcement of any law applicable to the management of scrap tires, abate a nuisance, or seek any other appropriate relief.
(E) An owner of real property upon which there is located an accumulation of not more than five thousand scrap tires is not liable under division (A) of this section for the cost of the removal of the scrap tires, and no lien shall attach to the property under this section, if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The tires were placed on the property after the owner acquired title to the property, or the tires were placed on the property before the owner acquired title to the property and the owner acquired title to the property by bequest or devise.
(2) The owner of the property did not have knowledge that the tires were being placed on the property, or the owner posted on the property signs prohibiting dumping or took other action to prevent the placing of tires on the property.
(3) The owner of the property did not participate in or consent to the placing of the tires on the property.
(4) The owner of the property received no financial benefit from the placing of the tires on the property or otherwise having the tires on the property.
(5) Title to the property was not transferred to the owner for the purpose of evading liability under division (A) of this section.
(6) The person responsible for placing the tires on the property, in doing so, was not acting as an agent for the owner of the property.