DHEC awards $2 million to Berkeley County for tire site cleanup

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has awarded a $2 million gr ant to Berkeley County which will be used to hire a contractor to clean up the VIVA Moncks Corner recycling site.

VIVA Recycling is a company that was gr anted a permit in February 2013 to process up to 99,000 passenger tire equivalents, according to information from DHEC.

"You've got houses right across the street from that over there," nearby resident Joseph Caramanica said. "I mean, it's a nice area, why have that?"

The facility was shut down in June 2017 after DHEC found the company to have nearly 300,000 tires.

DHEC also cited operational issues "including improper storage of waste tires, lack of fire lanes, and size of tire piles."

"It's terrible, even the building," Caramanica said. "I mean, you know, clean it up. It looks like a mess there."

The gr ant to Berkeley County is in response to a request for Waste Tire recycling funds sent by the county on May 3, 2018.

The gr ant agrees to fund a total of $2 million for all costs associated with the project, but no payment can exceed $1 million each state fiscal year.

"it's just good, a good feeling that they're cleaning it up, even for the people that are going to stay here," Caramanica said.

Max Sorgenfrey is one of those people. He's lived within eyesight of the building for more than a year.

"For the year-and-a-half we've been living here, nothing has gone on over there," Sorgenfrey said. "Haven't really seen cars, or anything."

Even though VIVA lost their permit and had to shut down last year, property records still show they own the building and the land. Because it's stayed so quiet, Max says the plant hasn't been a problem for him since he moved there.

"It has not bothered me, actively or passively," Sorgenfrey said.

Live 5 News reached out to a spokesperson from Berkeley County for a comment, but no one has responded.

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