Environmental notebook

Posted: January 30, 2018 at 1 a.m.

Scrap-tire measure advanced by vote

The state’s overhauled waste-tire program has received approval to continue through the process to become a state regulation after a vote Friday by the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission.

The commission voted to initiate the rule-making on an emergency basis in August in anticipation of the state’s new law on its tire program becoming effective Jan. 1. The vote Friday amends the emergency rule-making and allows the process to continue.

The proposal was not debated.

Kevin White, the department’s deputy director in charge of land resources, said the department would need to return to the commission for its February meeting — scheduled for March 2 — to request another extension of the rule-making process.

The procedure implements Act 317 of 2017, which changes how tires are tracked, how fees on new tires are assessed and how money for used-tire programs are distributed to the regional waste-tire districts. Proponents say the law will increase accountability among solid-waste districts, increase the number of tires being recycled and decrease the number of tire dumps.

Environmental Quality Department tire-disposition reports dating to 2008 have varied, with less than 50 percent recycled in 2013 and 70.5 percent recycled in 2009.

Among the requirements of the new scrap-tire program are a new fee system that charges each tire purchase, an electronic tracking system of tires and the licensing and registration of certain tire businesses.

Funding available for water research

Arkansas researchers have until 4 p.m. Feb. 15 to apply for a matching grant for studying improvement of the nation’s water quality, according to an announcement posted on the Arkansas Water Resources Center.

Applications must be submitted through the center, which is housed at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

Applicants who are awarded the matching grants may receive up to $250,000 to use for one to three years.

Interested parties can learn more about applying at: arkansas-water-center.uark.edu/Opportunities/funding.php/.