Newsroom: Press Release Archive: December 2005
  • Dec. 28, 2005: ADEQ Director Owens Initiates Effort to Clean Up "Standin' on the Corner" Site in Winslow
  • Dec. 27, 2005: ADEQ Director Owens Announces Two Community Recycling Grants Totaling "260,000 for Goodyear
  • Dec. 27, 2005: ADEQ Director Owens Announces Two Community Recycling Grants Totaling "300,000 for Nogales
  • Dec. 21, 2005: ADEQ Director Owens Announces $94,000 Penalty Against Nordic Boats, Inc. in Mohave County for Air Quality Violations
  • Dec. 20, 2005: ADEQ Issues High Pollution Advisory for PM10 Particulates for Phoenix Metro Area for Wednesday, December 21
  • Dec. 15, 2005: ADEQ Extends High Pollution Advisory for PM10 Particulates for Phoenix Metro Area through Friday, December 16
  • Dec. 14, 2005: ADEQ Director Owens Grants Award to Promote Recycling in Navajo and Hopi Nations
  • Dec. 14, 2005: ADEQ Extends High Pollution Advisory for Multiple Pollutants for Phoenix Metro Area for Thursday, December 15
  • Dec. 13, 2005: ADEQ Issues High Pollution Advisory for Multiple Pollutants for Phoenix Metro Area for Wednesday, December 14
  • Dec. 12, 2005: ADEQ Director Steve Owens Names Susan Keith Director of Tucson Office
  • Dec. 7, 2005: ADEQ Director Steve Owens Announces Recycling Scholarship Program for High School Students

ADEQ Director Owens Initiates Effort to Clean Up "Standin'on the Corner" Site in Winslow

PHOENIX (Dec. 28, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ has taken the first steps toward securing the clean-up of a fire-damaged building that has caused the "Standin'on the Corner" park in Winslow to be closed for more than a year.

Owens said that ADEQ has selected an environmental contractor to assess the extent of damage to the building, determine if asbestos-containing materials are present in the rubble and develop a plan for removing the debris. ADEQ's goal is to have the cleanup completed by June 30, 2006 or shortly thereafter.

Owens said if the contractor's work progresses smoothly, the monument could re-open in time for the "Standin' on the Corner" festival in October 2006.

"The park and mural are centerpieces of the community in Winslow and we want to do whatever we can to help get the park reopened," Owens said.

The park was closed after a fire gutted the former J.C. Penney/Rasco Building in October 2004. A mural on an exterior wall is an integral part of the park, but fire damage rendered the wall unstable, making the park unsafe for visitors. Concerns about potential asbestos contamination in the charred rubble have prevented efforts to remove the debris and reopen the park.

ADEQ is using funding available under the federal Brownfields program to assess and clean up the site.

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces Two Community Recycling Grants Totaling $260,000 for Goodyear

PHOENIX (Dec. 27, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ is providing $260,000 to fund two recycling projects in the City of Goodyear.

The city was awarded $200,000 for a curbside recycling program that will increase the diversion of solid waste into recycling from 6% to 25%. The grant is part of ADEQ's Waste Reduction Assistance (WRA) program, which provides assistance to projects that divert significant amounts of material from the solid waste stream. Under the WRA program, projects must focus on proper disposal of solid waste, source reduction, reuse, recycling or composting.

Goodyear was also awarded $60,000 for a recycling education outreach program to inform the public about the curbside recycling program. This grant is part of ADEQ's Waste Reduction Initiative through Education (WRITE), which supports information and education projects that encourage recycling, reuse and source reduction and increase awareness of proper solid waste disposal techniques.

"Recycling is one of our most effective tools to protect our environment," Owens said. "We are glad to support Goodyear's efforts to increase recycling in the community."

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces Two Community Recycling Grants Totaling $300,000 for Nogales

PHOENIX (Dec. 27, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ has awarded $300,000 in grants to help fund recycling in Nogales.

ADEQ awarded $100,000 to Tucson Recycling & Waste Services L.L.C., to provide a facility to handle recyclables from the City of Nogales.

In addition, ADEQ is providing $200,000 to help fund recycling in Nogales. The grant funds a curbside recycling program that will delay the closure of the County landfill by diverting recyclable materials.

These two grants are part of ADEQ's Waste Reduction Assistance (WRA) program, which provides assistance to projects that divert significant amounts of material from the solid waste stream. Under the WRA program, projects must focus on proper disposal of solid waste, source reduction, reuse, recycling or composting.

"Recycling is one of our most effective tools to protect our environment," Owens said. "We are glad to support efforts to increase recycling in the Nogales community."

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces $94,000 Penalty Against Nordic Boats, Inc. in Mohave County for Air Quality Violations

PHOENIX (Dec. 21, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced a $94,000 penalty against Nordic Boats for air quality violations at the company's Lake Havasu City manufacturing facility.

Owens said that Nordic Boats is considered a major source of styrene, a hazardous air pollutant, but was operating without a permit and had failed to meet federal monitoring, reporting and emission standards. The violations were discovered during an inspection conducted by ADEQ in October 2004.

Styrene, a central nervous system depressant and possible human carcinogen, is emitted during the boat manufacturing process.

"The substantial penalty reflects the serious nature of the violations,"Owens said.

Owens added that ADEQ conducted an investigation during the summer of 2004 to identify boat builders that emit styrene in quantities that require an Arizona Air Quality Control Permit and bring them into compliance. Many of the boat builders cooperated fully with ADEQ's initiative and voluntarily identified the amounts of solvents, resins and coatings used in their operations.

"Unfortunately, Nordic Boats did not do so," Owens said.

In addition to paying the penalty, Nordic is in process of obtaining an air quality permit from ADEQ.

The Consent Judgment with Nordic Boats is subject to final court approval.

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ADEQ Issues High Pollution Advisory for PM10 Particulates for Phoenix Metro Area for Wednesday, December 21

PHOENIX (Dec. 20, 2005) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Wednesday, December 21 due to forecast weather conditions expected to generate levels of coarse particulate matter (PM10) or dust that could exceed unhealthy levels in the Phoenix metro area.

Also for Wednesday, ADEQ issued a Health Watch for the finer PM2.5 particulates, which consist mainly of auto and diesel particulates.

ADEQ issues a HPA when the highest concentrations of a pollutant are expected to exceed the federal health standard, and a Health Watch when the highest concentrations are expected to approach the federal health standard.

"We are issuing a High Pollution Advisory because we are seeing conditions similar to those we've had in the past few weeks: stagnant air, lack of rain and high levels of particulate matter pollutants," ADEQ Director Steve Owens said. "At this point, coarse particulate pollution levels could still pose a health risk, especially for seniors, children with asthma and other sensitive individuals."

To help reduce pollutant levels, ADEQ is asking that people limit driving, use the bus, carpool and telecommute where possible. An HPA also alerts businesses to implement their travel reduction plans.

Daily air quality forecasts are on ADEQ's web site or by telephone at (602) 771-2367.

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ADEQ Extends High Pollution Advisory for PM10 Particulates for Phoenix Metro Area through Friday, December 16

PHOENIX (Dec. 15, 2005) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has extended a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) now in effect through Friday, December 16 due to forecast weather conditions expected to generate levels of coarse particulate matter (PM10) or dust that could exceed unhealthy levels in the Phoenix metro area.

Light winds have slightly improved air quality in the metro region. The HPA issued for Friday includes only PM10; it does not include fine particulate matter known as PM2.5.

"Fine particulate pollution levels have declined to where they no longer present a health threat, but coarse particulate pollution levels still pose a potential health risk, especially for seniors, children with asthma and other sensitive individuals," ADEQ Director Steve Owens said.

To help reduce PM10 levels, ADEQ is asking that people limit driving, use the bus, carpool and telecommute where possible. An HPA also alerts businesses to implement their travel reduction plans.

The advisory is based on cold morning temperatures, moderate to strong temperature inversions and high levels of PM10 particles.

Daily air quality forecasts are on ADEQ's web site or by telephone at (602) 771-2367.

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ADEQ Director Owens Grants Award to Promote Recycling in Navajo and Hopi Nations

PHOENIX (Dec. 14, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ is helping to fund an educational and media campaign to encourage recycling, composting and proper waste disposal in the Navajo and Hopi Nations in Northern Arizona.

Owens said that ADEQ is providing a grant for more than $9,500 to DNA - People's Legal Services for the 'Walk in Beauty?' campaign, which will reach the public through educational presentations and public service announcements (PSAs) designed to raise awareness about the benefits of recycling and composting as well as the environmental cost of dumping. The PSAs, produced in the Navajo and Hopi languages, will be broadcast on radio and television. DNA will provide an in-kind match for ADEQ's contribution, bringing total resources for the effort to more than $18,000.

The campaign will also include presentations at high schools, middle schools and information fairs, supplemented by slide-shows, flyers and posters. Surveys will assess residents' knowledge of recycling before and after presentations.

"The 'Walk in Beauty?' campaign will promote the benefits of recycling, composting and legal trash disposal through Native languages, featuring Tribal residents discussing the impact of illegal dumping," Owens said. "This project will increase recycling and composting while reducing dumping in the Navajo and Hopi communities."

Owens noted that Governor Napolitano held a Tribal Summit on Environmental Issues on November 30 at which Tribal leaders from throughout Arizona stressed the need to deal with improper waste disposal on Arizona reservations. "We are delighted to be able to follow up on the Summit recommendations so quickly," Owens said. "We are committed to working with Tribal leaders to solve environmental problems on their reservations."

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ADEQ Extends High Pollution Advisory for Multiple Pollutants for Phoenix Metro Area for Thursday, December 15

PHOENIX (Dec. 14, 2005) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has extended a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Thursday, December 15 due to forecast weather conditions expected to generate levels of both coarse particulate matter (PM10) or dust, and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which consists mainly of auto and diesel particulates, that could exceed unhealthy levels in the Phoenix metro area.

ADEQ is asking that people limit driving, use the bus, carpool and telecommute where possible. An HPA also alerts businesses to implement their travel reduction plans. The HPA calls for unusually sensitive people -- children, senior citizens, and those with respiratory illnesses such as asthma -- to be mindful of these conditions when planning outdoor activities on Thursday.

The advisory is based on cold morning temperatures, moderate to strong temperature inversions and high levels of small particulate pollutants called PM10 particles and very small particulate pollutants called PM2.5.

Daily air quality forecasts are on ADEQ's web site or by telephone at (602) 771-2367.

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ADEQ Issues High Pollution Advisory for Multiple Pollutants for Phoenix Metro Area for Wednesday, December 14

PHOENIX (Dec. 13, 2005) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Wednesday, December 14 due to forecast weather conditions expected to generate levels of both coarse particulate matter 10 (PM10) or dust, and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) which consists mainly of auto and diesel particulates, that could exceed unhealthy levels in the Phoenix metro area.

This is the first HPA for fine particulate matter that ADEQ has issued this year, and the first such advisory in two years. In August 2003, ADEQ issued a HPA for PM2.5 due to smoke from wildfires in Southern California. Previous advisories issued this season have only been for larger particulate matter.

ADEQ Director Steve Owens said, "This is a very unusual situation. The prolonged lack of rain and wind, combined with stagnant air and the wintertime weather inversion is trapping pollution in the Valley. Plus, we are experiencing the cumulative effects of all the pollution that has been building up in recent days."

ADEQ is asking that people limit driving, use the bus, carpool and telecommute where possible. An HPA also alerts businesses to implement their travel reduction plans. The HPA calls for unusually sensitive people -- children, senior citizens, and those with respiratory illnesses such as asthma -- to be mindful of these conditions when planning outdoor activities on Wednesday.

The advisory is based on cold morning temperatures, moderate to strong temperature inversions and high levels of small particulate pollutants called PM10 particles and very small particulate pollutants called PM2.5.

ADEQ has issued eight HPAs so far this season, including four since December 1.

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ADEQ Director Steve Owens Names Susan Keith Director of Tucson Office

PHOENIX (Dec. 12, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens today announced that he has appointed Susan Keith as director of ADEQ's Southern Regional Office (SRO) in Tucson.

"Sue Keith is well known throughout southern Arizona and will do a terrific job of overseeing our Tucson office," Owens said. "Sue will help us continue to ensure that residents of Pima County and Southern Arizona receive the attention and service they deserve from ADEQ."

Keith has been serving as ADEQ's Community Liaison for southeastern Arizona since September 2000. As Community Liaison, Keith had responsibility for working with elected officials, stakeholders and members of the public in Cochise, Graham, Greenlee and Santa Cruz counties, as well as other areas throughout Southern Arizona. Prior to her work as Community Liaison, she served as director of the Office of Environmental Management for the City of Seattle. Keith received her Masters degree in Hydrology and Water Resources Administration from the University of Arizona in 1981.

Keith will assume the position as head of ADEQ's Tucson office being left vacant by the recent appointment of current SRO Director Michael Fulton as Deputy Director for ADEQ's Waste Program Division in Phoenix. Keith's appointment is effective in January.

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ADEQ Director Steve Owens Announces Recycling Scholarship Program for High School Students

PHOENIX (Dec. 7, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ has established the Arizona Recycling Scholarship Program to provide scholarship funds for Arizona high school seniors interested in environmental issues.

Under the program, ADEQ will award five scholarships of $1,000 each to high school seniors to be used for expenses at a college or university in Arizona. To apply, students will submit a proposal outlining a waste reduction or recycling project in their school or community to be implemented during April 2006. All Arizona high school students in their senior year are eligible to apply for the scholarship. The five scholarship recipients will be selected by ADEQ based on the proposals submitted.

"This is a very exciting program," Owens said. "It encourages Arizona students to think about ways to protect the environment, while helping them meet the escalating costs of college."

Owens said ADEQ developed the scholarship program to encourage school recycling activities throughout the state. Funding for the scholarship program will come through the ADEQ Recycling Grant Program.

Proposals must be received by ADEQ no later than Jan. 30, 2006 and the scholarship winners will be announced during February 2006. The winning projects will be implemented during Earth Month, April 2006. ADEQ will provide scholarship funds to the students after receiving proof of enrollment at a community college or university within the state of Arizona.

Owens added that while the scholarship program is being started on a pilot basis with five scholarships this year, the number of scholarships might be increased in future years depending on the level of interest among students and the quality of proposals submitted.

The scholarship package and informational materials will be sent to every high school in Arizona and also are available on ADEQ's web site.

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