Newsroom: Press Release Archive: January 2005
  • Jan. 24, 2005: ADEQ Director Owens Announces Air Toxics Assessment Project with Tribes
  • Jan. 21, 2005: ADEQ Schedules Office Hours in Holbrook to Answer UST Questions
  • Jan. 19, 2005: ADEQ Director Owens Announces $500,000 Penalty Against Kinder Morgan for July 30, 2003 Pipeline Spill
  • Jan. 12, 2005: ADEQ Removes Abandoned Underground Storage Tanks in Holbrook
  • Jan. 11, 2005: ADEQ Director Owens Announces $392,400 Settlement with Bayless Company for Groundwater Contamination
  • Jan. 7, 2005: ADEQ Director Owens Announces $45,000 Penalty Against Arizona Water Company for Hazardous Waste Violations
  • Jan. 5, 2005: ADEQ Director Owens Announces $80,000 Settlement with Envirosolve for Hazardous Waste Violations
  • Jan. 4, 2005: ADEQ Provides Advice to Well Owners Affected by Floodwaters
  • Jan. 4, 2005: ADEQ Director Owens Announces that State Superfund Program has Cleaned Up 10.5 Billion Gallons of Groundwater in Fiscal Year 2004

ADEQ Director Owens Announces Air Toxics Assessment Project with Tribes

PHOENIX (Jan. 24, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ is launching an expanded partnership with three Native American tribes to monitor air-toxics levels at eight locations throughout the Phoenix area this year.

The study, beginning this month, is being conducted by ADEQ along with the Gila River Indian Community, the Salt River-Pima Maricopa Indian Community, and the Ft. McDowell Yavapai Nation. The program is the only state-tribal cooperative air quality project in the nation. It will provide information on the risks posed by air toxics, raise public awareness of air-quality issues, and educate the public on how to reduce risks.

"We are very pleased to be working with our tribal partners to address important questions about air toxics in the Phoenix area," Owens said. "Our goal is to better understand the range and concentration of air toxics in the industrial core, the impact on neighborhoods near freeways and the effect on tribal lands."

Owens noted that approximately 3.5 million people live in the communities covered by the study. "While air-toxic levels may be lower on tribal lands than in the urban core, members of the Gila River community, for example, experience high rates of asthma, which can be aggravated by air toxics."

ADEQ began the first phase of the Joint Air Toxics Assessment Program (JATAP) in 2003, to determine which hazardous air pollutants are of most concern in the Phoenix area.

The eight locations for monitoring are Ft. McDowell, the Salt River near Alma School Rd. and Osborn, the Gila River at St. Johns, Queen Valley (12 miles southeast of Apache Junction), a location at 17th Ave. and Campbell, West Phoenix (39th Ave. and Earll Dr.), South Phoenix (Central Ave. and Broadway), and a site at 25th Ave. and I-10.

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ADEQ Schedules Office Hours in Holbrook to Answer UST Questions

PHOENIX (Jan. 21, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens today announced that Byron James, ADEQ's Community Liaison for Northeastern Arizona, will hold office hours in Holbrook over the next several weeks to answer questions from the public regarding ADEQ's underground storage tank closure program.

Owens said that he directed Mr. James to be available at Holbrook City Hall from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 27, Feb. 3, Feb. 10, and Feb. 17.

Area residents are invited to meet with Mr. James during the office hours to obtain information about the UST removal program and discuss options for closure of UST sites. He is also available outside of those office hours by telephone, (928) 337-3565 or by email.

"I am committed to ensuring that the citizens of Holbrook and Northern Arizona get the attention they deserve and the help they need to identify and remove abandoned underground storage tanks in their community," Director Owens said.

ADEQ's office hours in Holbrook are a component of the agency's Route 66 UST Initiative to facilitate closure of abandoned underground storage tanks, cleanup sites along old Route 66 and help revitalize the local economy by putting these properties back into productive use.

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces $500,000 Penalty Against Kinder Morgan for July 30, 2003 Pipeline Spill
Penalty is Largest Ever Under Groundwater Protection Law

PHOENIX (Jan. 19, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens today announced that Kinder Morgan Energy Partners will pay a $500,000 civil penalty to the State for environmental damage done when Kinder Morgan's pipeline ruptured on July 30, 2003 in a Tucson subdivision. Gasoline from the pipeline spewed more than 50 feet in the air, saturating five homes under construction in the neighborhood and contaminating soil and groundwater in the area.

The penalty is being imposed pursuant to a consent judgment between Kinder Morgan and ADEQ, filed today in Arizona Superior Court.

"This is the largest penalty ever imposed under the state's groundwater protection law," Director Owens said. "The magnitude of the penalty imposed on Kinder Morgan reflects the extremely serious nature of the violations involved."

In addition to the penalty, Kinder Morgan also will be required to adhere to strict notification protocols for future releases from its pipeline. Under the consent judgment, Kinder Morgan will be required to notify ADEQ within 24 hours of any spill in excess of 210 gallons and advise the department of the steps the company will take to clean up the spill. Kinder Morgan also must file a quarterly report with ADEQ informing the department of the progress of clean-ups as well as alerting ADEQ to any releases five gallons or greater from the pipeline that occurred during the quarter.

"These strict notification requirements will eliminate any guessing games about how much gasoline is involved in any future releases from the Kinder Morgan pipeline," Owens added. "The fact that we couldn't get a straight answer from Kinder Morgan about the volume of fuel involved in this release was simply unacceptable."

Initial estimates put the volume released during the July 30, 2003 rupture at 10,000 gallons. As of Dec. 9, 2004, over 52,000 gallons of fuel have been recovered from the spill site.

ADEQ issued Kinder Morgan two Notices of Violation in connection with the 2003 rupture. The first, issued on Sept. 11, 2003 covered the initial discharge of petroleum on July 30. The second, issued on Nov. 13, 2003, charged Kinder Morgan with violating the state's groundwater quality standards after the groundwater at the site was discovered to be contaminated.

In conjunction with the consent judgment, Kinder Morgan will also implement a long-term clean-up of the site to remove all remaining gasoline from the top of the aquifer, monitor the groundwater until all hydrocarbons are dissolved, and extract hydrocarbon vapors from the soil where the pipeline ruptured. The clean-up is estimated to cost Kinder Morgan $5.5 million over the next several years.

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ADEQ Removes Abandoned Underground Storage Tanks in Holbrook>

PHOENIX (Jan. 12, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ removed four abandoned underground storage tanks (USTs) in Holbrook during December 2004 under its Municipal Tank Closure Program.

All four tanks were removed from a UST site located at 614 South Apache Drive in Holbrook, where a gas station once operated. ADEQ is currently investigating releases from the removed tanks at this site, and ADEQ will oversee cleanup of the site.

To date, ADEQ has removed 59 tanks from 16 cities throughout Arizona under the MTCP.

"We have been working closely with tank owners, property owners and city officials in Holbrook to remove abandoned tanks in their community and throughout northern Arizona," Director Owens said. "We are committed to removing and cleaning up abandoned underground storage tanks across the state as quickly as possible."

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces $392,400 Settlement with Bayless Company for Groundwater Contamination

PHOENIX (Jan. 11, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens today announced a settlement agreement totaling $392,400 with Bayless Investment and Trading Company for releases of hazardous substances on property owned by the company.

Under the terms of the agreement, Bayless will pay $225,000 in addition to $167,400 already expended by the company on cleanup activities to resolve their liability for cleanup costs at the site.

"We are committed to holding responsible parties accountable for their share of the costs to clean up contamination," Owens said. "Safeguarding Arizona's precious water resources is one of our top priorities."

The site, located at the northeast corner of Seventh Avenue and Bethany Home Road, had been used by commercial dry cleaners for several decades. Soil and groundwater beneath the site are contaminated with tetrachloroethylene (PCE), a solvent used in the dry cleaning industry. In August 2004 the site was added to the state Superfund site list.

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces $45,000 Penalty Against Arizona Water Company for Hazardous Waste Violations

PHOENIX (Jan. 7, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens today announced a $45,000 civil penalty as part of a settlement with Arizona Water Company for violations of the state's hazardous waste laws.

During a January 2003 inspection of the company's Coolidge facility, ADEQ staff discovered that Arizona Water Company had illegally discharged hazardous wastewater directly to the soil, failed to properly characterize lead-containing hazardous waste and failed to meet basic hazardous waste labeling requirements.

ADEQ issued a Notice of Violation to Arizona Water Company in February 2003 for these offenses following inspection of the Coolidge facility.

"It is critical that companies comply with Arizona's hazardous waste laws," Director Owens said. "This substantial penalty reflects the seriousness of these violations."

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces $80,000 Settlement with Envirosolve for Hazardous Waste Violations

PHOENIX (Jan. 5, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens today announced a settlement agreement totaling $80,000 with Envirosolve, LLC for illegal releases of hazardous wastes at its Tucson facility.

In August 2001, Envirosolve illegally released 458 pounds of chromic and sulfuric acid into the parking lot of its Tucson facility. The hazardous waste was then carried by storm waters on to neighboring properties resulting in an emergency response by local fire and environmental officials.

"These were serious violations of Arizona's environmental laws," Owens said. "We are committed to ensuring that companies like Envirosolve comply with the law."

Envirosolve also failed to notify ADEQ and submit the required paperwork and manifests for its hazardous waste shipments, and violated hazardous waste transporter requirements by storing waste at its Tucson facility for more than 30 days over the legal limit.

Envirosolve, LLC is a hazardous waste management and transport company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma with transfer facilities in Phoenix, Albuquerque and throughout the west and mid-west. The company's Tucson facility closed in September 2002.

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ADEQ Provides Advice to Well Owners Affected by Floodwaters

PHOENIX (Jan. 4, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ has prepared a fact sheet to help residents affected by recent floodwaters ensure that their well water is safe to drink.

Recent floodwaters across Arizona could impact private domestic wells and affect the drinking water quality of those wells. The fact sheet advises residents on what steps can be taken to ensure that their drinking water is safe.

"We want to let people know what they can do to make sure their drinking water is safe," Owens said. "We are being pro-active and distributing this information to private well owners potentially impacted by the recent floodwaters."

The fact sheet provides information on how to inspect a private well for floodwater damage, properly chlorinate the water to ensure it is bacteria free and have the water tested by a licensed laboratory.

The fact sheet is available online or by calling ADEQ's Safe Drinking Water section at (602) 771-4644.

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces that State Superfund Program has Cleaned Up 10.5 Billion Gallons of Groundwater in Fiscal Year 2004

PHOENIX (Jan. 4, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens today announced that Arizona's state Superfund program, the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF), cleaned up more than 10.5 billion gallons of contaminated groundwater in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2004.

In addition to the 10.5 billion gallons of contaminated groundwater that was treated during Fiscal Year 2004 (July 1, 2003 - June 30, 2004) under the auspices WQARF program, more than 3.3 million pounds of metals, 91.6 tons of soils and 32,299 pounds of volatile organic substances were removed from contaminated sites throughout Arizona.

Under the WQARF program ADEQ identifies, assesses and cleans up soil and groundwater that is contaminated with hazardous substances.

"These cleanup figures show that the WQARF program is working very well to clean up contaminated groundwater throughout Arizona," Director Owens said. "The prolonged drought has made it even more important that our precious groundwater resources are preserved and protected for future generations of Arizonans."

Owens added that a potential shortfall of funding to the program could put future cleanups in jeopardy.

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