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Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Oklahoma

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State officials are looking for ways to remove a mound of old tires intended as protection against erosion where the FireLake Golf Course met Squirrel Creek. The tires on the golf course were hauled there by Environmental River Erosion Control, which a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation business committee had asked to shore up the banks of the creek along the golf course. Early last month the state Tax Commission told the state Department of Environmental Quality it would not pay to remove the tires because they already had been moved from one dump. We've become 'Tire Lake', a laughingstock," said Tribal Chairman John "Rocky" Barrett. "It's a situation where you have a problem, you pay somebody to try to solve the problem, and they make the problem worse," said attorney Mike Minnis. State officials said Environmental River Erosion Control wasn't doing the erosion prevention work for which it had been hired. Repairs were done improperly. The Tax Commission stopped payments. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection last year, converted to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in June. The FireLake site has 80,000 junk tires and is one of 80 tire dumps on the state's priority cleanup list, said Brad Flaming with DEQ.

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