Last Modified: Sunday, July 29, 2012 8:55 PM
The Legislative Auditor’s Office has found fault with a state Department of Environmental Quality waste-tire control program.
The office said the program, which was formed to reduce the illegal dumping of tires, does not have proper controls in place to prevent abuse.
“The risk still exists that processors could overstate eligible tire inventory weights and/or claim reimbursement for ineligible tires without being detected by DEQ,” the audit found.
Case in point: Anna Guillory, the owner of Reds Transport in Eunice, was arrested June 20 on 34 counts of forgery, 34 counts of filing a false public record, one count of theft of approximately $3,931.50 and one count of Waste Tire Fund fraud greater than $500. She is accused of inflating the number of eligible tires and/or forging the names of legitimate tire generators on manifests in order to be reimbursed by Colt Tire, a waste tire processor.
The audit suggested that DEQ needs a third party to examine manifest documentation. Random audits of the processors wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.
The report found that a lack of oversight from a third party “creates an unacceptably high risk of fraud or error on behalf of the waste tire processors.”
As of now, the program allows the processors to use their own scales and provide their own documentation.
“DEQ is committed to protecting the integrity of the waste tire program and the public who pay the tire disposal fee,” Vince Sagnibene, DEQ undersecretary of management and finance, said after Guillory’s arrest.
If DEQ truly wants to show its commitment, it would run with the report’s recommendations and do all it can to protect the program.
According to CalRecycle, tires can be recycled into rubberized asphalt concrete for paving roads, drainage material for retaining walls and landslide-prone embankments, landscape mulch and playground surfaces.
Doing everything possible to make this a better planet is well worth it.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Dennis Spears, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.