This document will assist landowners and farm/ranch operators in assessing the feasibility of utilizing waste tires for blowout stabilization projects. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) discourages the use of waste tires for this purpose, but rules and regulations currently in place allow the use of waste tires for certain agricultural uses, including blowout stabilization.
The best range management practices for blowout control, restoration, and stabilization involves planned grazing systems; winter feeding cattle in the blowout; or seeding, mulching, and fencing the affected areas. For more information regarding proper range management planning techniques and the use of prescribed grazing systems, contact your local Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) office or the University of Nebraska Extension Service.
If you need further clarification, please call the Waste Management Section of the NDEQ at (402) 471-4210.
Legal Authority for Regulating Waste Tires
Title 132 - Integrated Solid Waste Management Regulations, Chapter 2, §002.01B, and Title 132, Chapter 14 are the referenced legal authority for regulating waste tires. Waste tires are a solid waste, and as such are subject to solid waste regulations. Land disposal of waste tires is prohibited, but waste tires for agricultural purposes are allowed in some instances, such as bumpers on agricultural equipment, ballast to maintain covers or structures on the agricultural site, feeders and water tanks for livestock, or for blowout stabilization.
Threatened and Endangered Species Consultation
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission must be consulted prior to beginning the project to receive approval in regard to endangered species. Blowout Penstemon, a rare plant species native to the Great Plains, grows almost exclusively in blowouts within the Nebraska Sandhills. It is listed as an endangered species by both State and Federal Agencies.
Recommended Blowout Stabilization Conservation Practices
A blowout, as used in this guidance document, is a wind excavated depression on rangeland. This technical guidance document sets guidelines for the use of waste tires generated by a landowner or a farm/ranch operator and is not an endorsement for a landowner or farm/ranch operator to accept or collect waste tires generated by other entities for use in blowout stabilization projects.
The use of waste tires for blowout stabilization should be considered a short-term erosion control practice and is not the preferred method for restoration of the blowout back to grass production. If vegetative cover develops in the blowout the waste tires should be removed, if the removal will not cause damage to the new vegetative cover. The following information is provided to assure appropriate use of waste tires in controlling wind erosion and to aid in restoration of damaged areas on rangeland.
- As of January 1, 2011, waste tires may not be placed into blowouts that are larger than ½ (one-half) acre in area. Blowouts under ¼ (one-fourth) acre are preferred.
- Fencing any blowout stabilization project is recommended for restoration of the damaged area.
- An appropriate seed mix, as recommended by the Natural Resource Conservation Service in your area, shall be drilled or broadcast over the site. A seed mixture of adapted native grass species or varieties at the minimum seeding rate of 60 PLS (Pure Live Seed) per square foot should be utilized when drilling and 120 PLS per square foot when broadcasting.
- The blowout must be mulched with an organic mixture, prior to placement of waste tires. The Department recommends mulching with natural materials at a rate of two to three tons per acre, as standard practice for restoration of blowouts on rangeland. Some examples of natural materials used for mulch are animal manure and straw, native grass hay, or legume hay.
- Waste tires may be utilized for blowout stabilization only if the slope of the blowout is 2’ horizontal to 1’ vertical or less.
- Waste tires must be arranged in one single layer, ranging from a passenger tire to a truck tire. The waste tires must be arranged in a random pattern that prevents the wind from blowing in a straight-line path through the waste tires. Only whole waste tires should be used. Cut tires, tire rims, and inner tubes are not allowed.
- Waste tires shall not be placed inside other waste tires and tires with rims shall not be used.
- Waste tires should be placed over the entire blowout area, except around water tanks, within six months of the beginning of the project. Areas around water tanks should be left free of tires so that livestock can access the tanks.
- NDEQ Waste Management Section - (402) 471-4210
- NDEQ Toll Free Number - (877) 253-2603
- NDEQ Hazardous Waste Compliance Assistant - (402) 471-8308
- Email questions to: NDEQ.firstname.lastname@example.org
Titles are available on the NDEQ Home Page under “Laws/Regs & EQC”, “Rules & Regulations”
Produced by: Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 98922, Lincoln, NE 68509-8922; phone (402) 471-2186. To view this, and other information related to our agency, visit our web site at http://deq.ne.gov.