Newsroom: Press Release Archive: August 2003
  • Aug. 29, 2003: ADEQ Requires New Emissions Monitoring Controls on Arizona Portland Cement Company
  • Aug. 28, 2003: ADEQ Supports "Keep Oak Creek Canyon Beautiful" Program
  • Aug. 20, 2003: ADEQ Director Steve Owens Awards $1.2 Million for Arizona Recycling Projects
  • Aug. 14, 2003: EPA, ADEQ Fine Black Mesa Pipeline for Continued Coal Slurry Leaks
  • Aug. 4, 2003: ADEQ Director, Senior Staff to Speak at Annual Arizona Association of Industry Summit
  • Aug. 4, 2003: Open Burning Permits Help Reduce Regional Haze in Northeastern Arizona
  • Aug. 1, 2003: ADEQ's Daily Ozone Forecast Now Available by Telephone

ADEQ Requires New Emissions Monitoring Controls on Arizona Portland Cement Company

PHOENIX (Aug. 29, 2003) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens said today that residents living near the Arizona Portland Cement Company in Rillito should soon begin to breathe easier as a result of a new, more stringent air quality permit issued by the department late yesterday.

The new Title V permit consolidates several existing state air quality permits that have governed emissions limits on a wide range of operations at the plant since 1998.

The new permit, which was developed with input from local community residents, significantly increases air quality monitoring, record keeping and reporting requirements of the company's existing operations.

"We have worked very closely with the Rillito community the past two months to resolve their concerns about pollution from the plant," Owens said. "The result is a permit that makes the plant much more accountable to its neighbors."

Owens also noted that the company's initial proposal to expand the facility was denied. Any future expansion will require the company to undergo a rigorous new source review process, which would require the plant to upgrade its equipment with the best available pollution control technology, he said.

Among the new permit requirements are the installation of cameras at the facility's fence line to continuously monitor visible emissions near the community of Rillito, the development of a more effective dust control plan, and additional testing for particulate matter and hazardous air pollutants.

The company has 30 days to appeal the permit.

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ADEQ Supports "Keep Oak Creek Canyon Beautiful" Program

PHOENIX (Aug. 28, 2003) -- Over the upcoming Labor Day weekend, volunteers from the Oak Creek Canyon Task Force and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality will help preserve Oak Creek Canyon, one of the state's natural treasures, through an anti-littering campaign.

The anti-littering campaign, Keep Oak Creek Canyon Beautiful, is designed to educate canyon visitors about the environment. Volunteers at this weekend's kick off event will distribute free trash bags to those visiting the canyon Aug. 30 through Sept. 1.

Task force officials noted that an increased number of visitors to the area have contributed to an increased amount of litter. Visitors are encouraged to help keep the creek clean by using onsite restroom facilities as well as properly dispose of animal waste and litter.

While volunteers will be stationed along Oak Creek Canyon, Slide Rock, a particularly popular site, will be the focus of this weekend's campaign. Slide Rock, a stretch of the slippery creek bottom, is one of the best-known recreational sites in Oak Creek Canyon. Visitors slide down the slick natural water chute or wade and sun along the creek. The unique rock formations and striking red rock buttes near Slide Rock have provided the backdrop for several movies including "Broken Arrow" with James Stewart and "Angel and the Badman" with John Wayne.

Officials from the task force say they plan to expand the program with future projects that will help preserve the integrity of the canyon's environment and water quality.

For information on volunteering to help with the Oak Creek Canyon Task Force, contact Nelda McLaskey (928) 282-5696 or 4nelda@mindspring.com.

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ADEQ Director Steve Owens Awards $1.2 Million for Arizona Recycling Projects

PHOENIX (Aug. 20, 2003) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today awarded $1.2 million in contracts to fund 13 recycling projects as part of the department's efforts to support and promote recycling in Arizona.

This funding brings to $11.3 million the total amount ADEQ has awarded statewide to assist a variety of recycling, research and development, and public education projects since 1991.

"In the past 11 years ADEQ has made great strides to improve recycling opportunities for Arizona citizens," Owens said. "These awards have provided the seed money to start many community recycling programs, and we continue to look for innovative ways to increase the volume and types of recyclable materials that can be diverted from landfills in our state."

Owens cited Arizona's near doubling of curbside recycling collection programs - from 15 cities and towns in 1991 to 28 in 2002 - as evidence the program is having its intended effect. During the same time, the amount of materials recycled in Arizona has increased from 70,500 tons to 999,000 tons.

In addition, many communities are now offering household hazardous waste and electronic recycling collection events to their residents, Owens said.

ADEQ awards projects in three specific categories:

  • Waste Reduction Assistance: a program to provide Arizona residents with funding assistance to promote recycling opportunities in their community.
  • Recycling Research and Development: funding with the primary focus of developing ideas that will help divert significant amounts of material from the solid waste stream.
  • Waste Reduction Initiative Through Education: educating and promoting recycling opportunities to increase awareness of properly reducing and disposing of solid waste.

The 2004 recipients are:

Waste Reduction Assistance Projects:

Arizona State Parks, La Paz and Mohave Counties
$187,356 "Arizona State Parks Western Region Recycling Collection Centers"
Arizona State Parks will establish recycling collection centers at four western state parks for visitor and community use. The parks include Lake Havasu State Park, Cattail Cove State Park, Buckskin Mountain State Park and Alamo Lake State Park. Visitors to the parks will be able to recycle aluminum, glass, plastic, paper, newspaper and cardboard. Funding will be used to purchase three types of recycling bins for collection of the recyclables. In addition, the parks will use the funding to purchase a split compartment truck to collect trash and recyclables, simultaneously, from remote locations within the parks. Arizona State Parks expects to divert approximately 40 percent of the waste stream produced in the parks.

C&M Fiber, Mohave County
$76,225 "Kingman Material Recovery Facility"
C&M will establish a small to medium-sized materials recovery facility to service the greater Kingman area. The materials to be collected include aluminum and steel cans, cardboard, newspaper, mixed paper and plastics (#1 and #2). Funding will be used to purchase a horizontal baler to process materials. C&M plans to divert 2,000 tons of solid waste from the local landfill.

City of Nogales, Santa Cruz County
$195,000 "Curbside Recycling Program"
The city of Nogales will implement a new citywide commingled curbside recycling program for its single family homes, as well as provide recycling containers to schools and commercial customers using the city's established waste collection routes. The funds will pay for 6,000 recycling containers. The city will also modify three of its collection trucks by adding hydraulic lifters to automate collection. The materials to be collected include glass, plastics (#1 and #2), paper, newspaper, aluminum, steel and tin cans. The city is partnering with Santa Cruz County, the Superintendent of Nogales Public Schools and various non-profit organizations to educate the community. Nogales expects to divert 38.9 percent of its waste stream from the local landfill.

City of Surprise, Maricopa County
$195,000 "Surprise Goes Curbside"
The city of Surprise will implement a citywide curbside recycling program. Funding will be used to help purchase 19,000 recycling bins, one for each single-family home in the city. The materials to be collected include newspaper, cardboard, paper, plastics (#1 and #2), aluminum and steel cans. The city estimates that 20 to 30 percent or 7,651 to 11,477 tons of its waste stream will be diverted from the area's landfill.

City of Surprise, Maricopa County
$128,000 "Northwest Regional HHW Event"
Northwest valley communities including Surprise, El Mirage, Youngtown, Sun City, Sun City West, Circle City, Morristown, Waddell and Whitmann will contract with a hazardous waste managing consultant to develop and produce three regional household hazardous waste collection events. The HHW events, which will be the first for this area of Maricopa County, are tentatively scheduled for October in Sun City, November in Surprise and April in El Mirage. Materials collected at each event include paint, batteries, used oil, electronic waste and tires. Funding will be used to pay the contractor for the proper recycling and/or disposal of the materials collected. The partnership estimates a total of 100 tons of hazardous waste will be recycled or disposed of properly as a result of these events.

Gila County Solid Waste
$18,000 "Globe-Miami Household Hazardous Products Collection Event"
Gila County will sponsor its first hazardous waste collection event for the communities of Globe, Miami, Hayden, Winkelman, Roosevelt, Tonto Basin and the San Carlos Reservation. Gila County will develop the media campaign to promote the event. Funding will be used to pay a contractor for the proper recycling and/or disposal of the materials collected. In addition to accepting the traditional household hazardous waste materials, the county will set up a"drop 'n' swap" table where participants will be able to take home household products such as cleansers and gardening chemicals that were dropped off earlier in the event. Based on a similar collection event in Payson, Arizona, Gila County expects 12.5 tons of potentially polluting household hazardous waste will be diverted from the county's landfills.

Pinal County Public Works
$147,956 "Pinal County Recycling Center Expansion Program"
Pinal County Public Works will expand its recycling center by upgrading the equipment, facility and manpower, enabling it to offer recycling to residents at nine new recycling drop-off locations. These locations include: Gold Canyon, Johnson Ranch, Cactus Forest, Superior, Kearny, the Florence correctional facility, Rancho Eldorado, Maricopa and Eloy. The county will collect newspaper, mixed paper, cardboard, aluminum cans and PET and HDPE plastics. Funding will be used to purchase recycling equipment. More than 60,000 additional county residents will have an opportunity to recycle and the county expects to divert an additional 40,000 cubic yards of material.

Santa Cruz County
$130,747 "Santa Cruz County MRF and Cardboard Recycling"
Santa Cruz County will provide its residents with the opportunity to recycle cardboard and electronic equipment and will construct a small materials recovery facility. Electronic waste and cardboard recycling will be added to recycling opportunities already being offered by the county in Tubac, Patagonia and Sonoita. Funding will be used to purchase recycling equipment. Santa Cruz expects to divert 6,900 tons of material each year through the expanded program.

Sedona Recycles, Yavapai County
$64,337 "Large Capacity Baler"
Sedona Recycles will purchase a larger baler to increase its materials recovery facility's capacity to recycle material generated in Sedona and the Verde Valley. The new equipment will be used to process recyclable materials collected in the growing curbside recycling programs offered by the area's private hauling companies. The materials processed by Sedona Recycles include newspaper, cardboard, glass, plastics, steel cans and aluminum. Sedona expects to divert approximately 460 additional tons of recycled material.

Research and Development Projects:

Universal Entech, LLC, Maricopa County
$49,726 "Advanced Waste Fiber"
Universal Entech (UE) plans to commercialize the process of changing cellulose from the waste stream into ethanol. In this proposed step of the commercialization process, UE will develop a pilot scale converter for low-grade paper only. In later steps they hope to increase the size of the converter to commercial grade and convert other cellulose materials, such as yard waste, and wood waste.

Waste Reduction Initiative Through Education Projects:

DNA-People's Legal Services, Inc., Apache County
$7,800 "Walk in Beauty?"-A Public Awareness Campaign By DNA Legal
DNA - People's Legal Services, Inc. will produce and implement a mass media campaign titled "Walk in Beauty?" This campaign is designed to encourage recycling and proper waste disposal in the Navajo Nation through a series of educational public service announcements on television and radio. The campaign is designed to raise awareness among Navajo language speakers about the benefits of recycling and the environmental consequences of illegal dumping. The PSAs will be in the Navajo and Hopi languages. DNA partners include KRMH and KTNN radio stations, Navajo Nation TV5 and former Navajo Nation President Peterson Zah.

Arizona State Parks, La Paz and Mohave County
$20,140 "Arizona State Parks Western Region Recycling Education Program"
Arizona State Parks will increase the awareness of and participation in waste reduction efforts through development of guided interpretive and self-guided media at four Arizona state parks. The parks include Lake Havasu State Park, Cattail Cove State Park, Buckskin Mountain State Park and Alamo Lake State Park. Arizona State Parks will develop an education curriculum for park ranger-led programs, by designing and creating training programs using informational kiosks and signs.

City of Suprise, Maricopa County
$25,750 "Be Environmentally Wise. Recycle in Surprise"
The city of Surprise will implement its new curbside recycling program by December 2003. Surprise will design and implement an educational Web site, prepare public education materials for outreach events and produce effective bilingual recycling promotional materials. In addition, the city will initiate recycling collection programs at each school and develop teacher-based activities with supporting materials and classroom activities.

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EPA, ADEQ Fine Black Mesa Pipeline for Continued Coal Slurry Leaks

PHOENIX (Aug. 14, 2003) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens and U.S. EPA today announced that Black Mesa Pipeline, Inc., has paid $55,000 in penalties associated with the most recent discharges from its coal slurry pipeline that runs across northern Arizona.

"We are concerned about continued discharges from the pipeline, despite the efforts that Black Mesa appears to be taking to correct the pipeline's deficiencies," Owens said. "We will ensure the company continues to comply with the terms of the 2001 consent decree."

The consent decree required Black Mesa to pay a $128,000 fine for seven discharges that occurred between 1997 and 1999, to clean up environmental damage caused by the spills and to take steps to prevent further discharges from pipeline. Those steps include conducting hydrostatic testing, ultrasonic surveying, implementing a corrosion monitoring program and replacing sections of the pipeline that do not meet minimum thickness requirements.

To date the company has replaced nearly 11 miles of pipe and has completed testing and surveying of the 273-mile pipeline, which carries a watery mixture of coal from Kayenta, Ariz., to Laughlin, Nev., where it fuels the Mohave Generating Station, operated by Southern California Edison.

Despite those efforts, the aging pipeline experienced eight additional discharges between September 2001 and August 2002, prompting the EPA and ADEQ to demand another $174,250 in January 2003, in accordance with the stipulated penalties clause in the consent decree. The company also has paid more than $575,000 to clean up areas affected by the discharges.

The latest penalty demand for $55,000 is the result discharges that occurred on Dec. 31, 2002 and March 24, 2003.

Complicating Black Mesa's modernization effort is the uncertain future of the Mohave Generating Station, which has been ordered by the EPA to upgrade its emission control equipment and comply with all air pollution control requirements on its first unit by Jan. 1, 2006 and on its second unit by April 1, 2006, or face closure. Black Mesa faces the expense of a costly modernization project, while the future of the generating station remains in doubt.

"We recognize the uncertainty facing the company, given the situation at the Mohave Generating Station," said Owens. "But the company needs to prevent further discharges as long as it continues to operate the pipeline."

Black Mesa Pipeline, Inc., which owns and operates the pipeline, is a subsidiary of Northern Border Partners, LP.

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ADEQ Director, Senior Staff to Speak at Annual Arizona Association of Industry Summit

PHOENIX (Aug. 4, 2003) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens and other senior leaders from the department will discuss Arizona's environmental priorities at the annual Arizona Association of Industries Summit, August 13 - 15, at the Prescott Resort.

The summit brings together industry professionals from across Arizona to discuss the state's environmental challenges and regulations.

Thursday, Aug. 14, at 9 a.m., ADEQ Deputy Director Patrick Cunningham will moderate a panel that includes senior members of the department's Air Quality, Water Quality and Waste Programs divisions. They will discuss issues ranging from the state's efforts to comply with the new federal standard for arsenic to Governor Napolitano's recent recommendation to the EPA concerning boundaries for the 8-hour ozone non-attainment area in Maricopa County.

At noon the same day, ADEQ Director Steve Owens will serve as the keynote lunch speaker. Owens, who has focused on improving the department's outreach efforts and establishing the governor's Children's Environmental Health Project, will discuss his priorities for the coming year.

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Open Burning Permits Help Reduce Regional Haze in Northeastern Arizona

PHOENIX (Aug. 4, 2003) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is encouraging residents in northeastern Arizona to help reduce regional haze by following open burning permit guidelines.

The state's air quality rules require a permit from ADEQ before starting a fire outdoors, as is often done in barrels, pits or piles to dispose of brush or other waste.

Fires used for cooking, heating, recreation and branding or in orchard heaters do not require a permit.

Open burning permits can be obtained through ADEQ or a delegated local permitting authority, and can be effective for up to one year. There are no fees associated with the application process, and applications are processed quickly. Open burning permits help protect Arizonans from smoke impacts and minimize regional haze.

Presently, in Apache County, all open burning permits are currently issued by ADEQ.

Those residing within the jurisdiction of the Holbrook, Lakeside, Linden, Taylor, Snowflake, and Winslow Fire Departments obtain open burning approval from these fire departments directly. Open burning permits for all other areas of Navajo County are issued through ADEQ.

Burning of household waste is only allowable with a permit and in very rural areas where trash collection is not available.

Local burning restrictions should be followed regardless of any open burning permit from ADEQ or delegated authority. Prior to commencing any permitted burning activities, the local fire authority must also be contacted.

For more information, and to obtain a permit application form, please contact one of the delegated fire departments, Byron James, ADEQ Community Liaison for Northeastern Arizona, at (928) 337-3565, or ADEQ's Northern Regional Office in Flagstaff, toll-free, at (877) 602-3675.

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ADEQ's Daily Ozone Forecast Now Available by Telephone

PHOENIX (Aug. 1, 2003) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality's ozone forecast is now available to residents in Maricopa County by dialing (602) 771-2367.

Updated Monday through Friday, the forecast will inform callers about the projected 8-hour ozone concentration forecast and its associated health impacts. It will also alert callers when an ozone health watch or warning has been issued.

Officials say the telephone forecast represents an important tool for those who do not have access to the Internet, especially for those with health concerns who may need to take extra precautions to manage their exposure to ozone pollution.

Ozone health watches advise sensitive groups, such as children, the elderly and those with respiratory illnesses, of days they should limit their outdoor activities because ozone concentrations are expected to exceed health-based standards for sensitive groups.

Ozone health warnings advise Valley residents and employers to activate trip reduction plans, which include carpooling and telecommuting, on days when ozone concentrations are expected to exceed health-based standards for the average person.

Residents who want more information about alternative forms of transportation, rideshare programs or who wish to receive electronic notification of Ozone Health Watches or Ozone Health Warnings when issued should call Valley Metro at (602) 262-Ride (7433) or visit http://www.ValleyMetro.org/ .

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