The Environmental Protection Agency fined Firebird International Raceway, and if you ask Firebird International President Charlie Allen, it's a blessing in disguise.
The EPA claims that in 2005, Firebird failed to properly report and label hazardous waste like aerosol cans and used oil contaminated with racing fuels, brake and carburetor cleaners, and other engine fluids. As a result, the racetrack was fined about $38,000.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Those disposing of the hazardous materials didn't dump them in a river or anything, but they didn't label the materials as hazardous before shipping them, an EPA violation.
"We use a company called Safety Clean to move this stuff and they hired a subcontractor. The EPA went through paperwork that wasn't even ours to make this determination, but in the end it still comes back us," Allen says. "Safety Clean is paying the fine, though."
When Allen went to meet with EPA officials in San Francisco, he says he was shocked to find that a good portion of the "hazardous waste" he was paying to have moved out of the racetrack was actually reusable products in the eyes of the EPA.