State conservation police believe they have solved a case of illegal dumping of tires. More than four hundred tires were discovered at and near the Hennepin Canal State Trail near Milan. Police have now arrested John Spaulding, 47, of Rock Island. He is accused of illegally storing and dumping tires.

Waste tires are supposed to be recycled into other products, and their transportation and storage are regulated by the state.

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Maggie Carson, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Envrionmental Protection Agency, says the tires provide an idea breeding ground for disease: “I think the program was originally was developed because of encephalitis, and that was a disease that was somewhat alleviated, but now we’re looking at West Nile virus in the mosquitoes that breed in the standing water in tires and other places.”

Carson says a new law could bump Spaulding’s crimes, if he is convicted, up to felonies.

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