Beneficial Use Permit for Scrap Tires at Race Track Saves $500-$1 Million


A central Ohio racetrack owner was negotiating the sale of the property to a developer, when an issue arose with Ohio EPA relative to the scrap tires currently being used as crash barriers around the race track. While their use as a crash barrier is an authorized beneficial use of scrap tires (OAC §3745-27-78(D)(1)(a)), the quantity of tires required at the subject site exceeded 1,500 scrap tires.

According to the Ohio EPA, the number of tires were deemed a fire and mosquito hazard, and they would have to be removed from the site before the sale could be finalized at an estimated cost of $500,000 to $1 million for removal / disposal.


ENVi was contacted by the developer’s attorney for advice and recommendations, since the new owner was planning to continue to operate the location as a racetrack. The prospective owner wished to maintain the current scrap tires along the race course as crash barriers. Scrap tires as crash barriers protect race car drivers and their race cars by absorbing the energy sustained when a race car comes into contact with the barrier; as opposed to steel guardrails and concrete barriers that cause serious damage to both drive and car.

ENVi successfully secured a beneficial use approval through Ohio EPA for the scrap tires—one of the first-ever beneficial use approvals for scrap tires issued by the Ohio EPA in this unique manner. The process took approximately a year from initiation until the beneficial use approval was granted and required an extensive amount of research and expertise.


With the Beneficial Use approval, the sale of the property was moved forward; the prospective new owner could continue to use the scrap tires as a crash barrier. The ROI was significant: approximately $15,000 for the application process versus $500,000 to $1 million for removal and disposal.

A comprehensive guide to help ensure you find the best fit.

fiding the right environmental services firm