Determination of Intentional or Negligent Violation for an Unpermitted Facility

If an unpermitted site is active, then the operator is determined to be acting intentionally. Sites that are active may be cited for 30 Public Resources Code (PRC) §§ 42824 or 42834, depending on the number of waste tires being stored.

If the site is inactive, the owner is considered negligent. In this case, the PRC should not be cited. Instead, just 14 CCR §§ 18420(a) and 18423 should be cited along with any minimum standard violations found.

Active (Intentional)

For operators intentionally violating the permit requirements, inspectors should cite:

  • 30 PRC § 42824 (Major WTF Permit) or
  • 30 PRC § 42834 Minor WTF Permit

On and after July 1, 1994, it is unlawful to direct or transport waste tires to a waste tire facility or to accept waste tires at a waste tire facility unless the operator has obtained a waste tire facility permit per 30 PRC §§ 42824 or 42834.

The language in this section indicates that it applies to sites and facilities that are deliberately active on the part of the owner/operator. In other words the site or facility was formed intentionally by the owner/operator. For example, some sites have been intentionally started by the owner for purposes such as erecting a fence of tires, for building a house of tires or for some other specific reason.

Note: In these cases it is appropriate to give the option of obtaining a permit when the owner/operator/tenant is in a business that involves tires, such as the sale of new and used tires, retreading, conversion of tires to new product, etc.

Inactive (Negligent)

For operators negligently violating the permit requirements, inspectors should cite:

  • 14 CCR § 18420(a) – Applicability, and
  • 14 CCR § 18423 – Filing of Application as violations (see information below)

It is appropriate to cite the above codes in cases where the site appears to be inactive and the tires have been around for a long time and the land is vacant. It would be difficult to prove intention on the part of the owner if the site is inactive should the case go to Administrative Hearing or Court.

Look for any signs of recent activity; indicating the site may be active. For example, have the tires been stacked, which may indicate some intended use, such as for purposes of creating a fence around a property.

Note: A fence shorter than 6 feet in height is not considered a structure by most Building and Safety Departments and as such does not have a permit from the local governing body.

Attempt to gather information from neighbors. If there are neighbors in the immediate area the inspector may want to attempt to speak with them and gather in information or knowledge the neighbors may have about the waste tires and who has been bringing them to the site and for what purpose. Such information may indicate whether or not the owner intentionally started the site, or if the current owner knew about the tires before buying the property and has intentionally kept the waste tires at the location. If the information gathered indicates that the owner/operator intentionally started or has maintained the site, then 30 PRC 42834 should be cited as a violation in the inspection report and letter of violation to be sent to the owner.

Note: It would not be appropriate to allow the option of obtaining a permit in cases where there is no principal business that involves tires. In those cases, the waste tires would most likely continue to be stored and never moved. The only reason for the permit would be to avoid the cost of paying to have them removed.

If the owner/operator or tenant is cooperative, the inspector may be able to determine the operational status of the site by asking questions on the history of the tires. In some cases, a tenant may have moved onto a property where a previous tenant abandoned waste tires.

The inspector may have to return to the site at a later date to confirm the activity status of the site. If it cannot be determined whether the site is active during the initial inspection, then assume that it is active and cite the appropriate PRC section. If the follow-up inspection indicates that no waste tires have been added or removed from the site, it should be considered inactive and the PRC section cited previously as a violation should be dropped.

Other Considerations When Inspecting an Unpermitted Tire Facility

If there are 500 or more waste tires onsite, inform them that either a registered hauler must be used to remove any waste tires or a permit obtained to continue storing the waste tires at the location.

Additionally, the inspector may want to draw a vicinity map of the site, showing where the tires are in relation to nearby features (hills, buildings, roads, etc.) so that if a different inspector should have to inspect the site at a later date, it will be easier for him or her to locate the site in the field.

A violation of permit capacity [PRC § 42850(a)] is a major violations. Look for any violations of specific terms and conditions of the permit, including other local agency requirements (e.g. fire protection plan approved by Local Fire Control Agency requires a backhoe on site to use in case of a fire, and the plan is referenced as a conditioning document in the permit).

For more information contact: Tire Enforcement,