Arizona House votes to try using tires to fill mines

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PHOENIX (AP) -- A sharply divided Arizona House has voted to authorize the state to experiment with using waste tires to fill in a few of the state's thousands of abandoned mine shafts.

A bill approved and sent to the Senate on a 24-26 vote Wednesday would allow waste tires to be used to fill three abandoned mines, topped by at least 10 feet of earthen material.

Supporters say using tires is an economical and safe way to help fill dangerous shafts.

Critics contend that using tires would risk fire and groundwater contamination and divert material that could be used to produce energy or rubberized asphalt.

State law now permits use of nonflammable materials such as concrete, pavement, brick, rock, gravel, sand and soil to fill shafts.

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