Newsroom: Press Release Archive: May 2005
  • May 23, 2005: Phoenix Area Meets Federal 1-Hour Ozone Standard
  • May 19, 2005: ADEQ Extends High Pollution Advisory to Friday, May 20
  • May 18, 2005: ADEQ Issues High Pollution Advisory for Thursday, May 19
  • May 16, 2005: ADEQ to Monitor Smoke from the Bart Fire Near Bartlett Lake
  • May 16, 2005: ADEQ Issues Ozone Health Watch for Tuesday, May 17
  • May 13, 2005: ADEQ Continues Ozone Health Watch for Saturday, May 14
  • May 12, 2005: ADEQ Issues Ozone Health Watch for Friday, May 13
  • May 4, 2005: ADEQ Launches "Green" Auto Repair Shop Initiative
  • May 2, 2005: ADEQ Launches Initiative to Control Erosion and Protect San Pedro River from Unlawful Dumping

Phoenix Area Meets Federal 1-Hour Ozone Standard

PHOENIX (May 23, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens today announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has officially redesignated the Phoenix metropolitan area as having met the federal 1-hour ozone health standard.

Despite unprecedented growth and development, the Phoenix area has not violated the 1-hour ozone standard during the previous eight years, Owens said. The "attainment" designation recognizes the numerous efforts being made to improve air quality in the Valley.

"This is great news for everyone in the Valley," ADEQ Director Owens said. "The steps we have been taking to cut down on the emissions that contribute to the formation of ozone clearly are working. We need to keep moving forward in our efforts to keep down ozone pollution."

Owens noted that the Napolitano administration has been working aggressively to have EPA redesignate areas in Arizona as being in attainment with federal health standards. The ozone attainment designation follows the announcement in September 2004 that the Phoenix metro area has attained the federal health standard for carbon monoxide.

Owens added that the Phoenix metro area now faces the challenge of coming into attainment for the new 8-hour ozone standard. The deadline for compliance with the federal health standard for 8-hour ozone is 2009.

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ADEQ Extends High Pollution Advisory to Friday, May 20

PHOENIX (May 19, 2005) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is extending a High Pollution Advisory to Friday, May 20, for the Phoenix metropolitan area due to forecasted ground-level ozone concentrations expected to exceed air quality standards. The advisory is based on forecasts which indicate a combination of near record high daytime temperatures and relatively light winds. There is a High Pollution Advisory currently in place for today, May 19.

ADEQ recommends that children and adults with respiratory problems avoid outdoor activities on Friday and suggests that general public limit outdoor activity throughout the day.

Employers participating in the Valley's Trip Reduction Program should implement their pollution reduction action plans and all Valley motorists should try to reduce ozone-producing emissions by taking the following steps:

  • Car pool, use mass transit, walk, bicycle, telecommute, and/or reduce driving.
  • Fill gasoline tanks after dark, during the cooler evening hours.
  • Avoid using gas-powered lawn or gardening equipment.

Ground-level ozone pollution is caused by the interaction of sunlight with the many pollutants generated by automobiles, gasoline-powered lawn equipment and other sources.

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

ADEQ has instituted two levels of air quality notification for Valley residents. An Ozone Health Watch alerts sensitive populations (i.e. senior citizens, children, people with respiratory illnesses) that ground-level ozone is expected to approach unhealthy levels and to consider reducing or rescheduling prolonged activity or heavy exertion outdoors, particularly during afternoon hours when ozone concentrations are typically at their highest. ADEQ issues a High Pollution Advisory for ozone when ozone concentrations are expected to exceed air quality standards. When a High Pollution Advisory is issued, participating Valley businesses are directed to implement employee trip reduction measures and all Valley motorists are encouraged to curb ozone production in the Valley by carpooling, utilizing public transportation and telecommuting when possible.

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ADEQ Issues High Pollution Advisory for Thursday, May 19

PHOENIX (May 18, 2005) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued a High Pollution Advisory for Thursday, May 19, for the Phoenix metropolitan area due to forecasted ground-level ozone concentrations expected to exceed air quality standards. The advisory is based on forecasts which indicate a combination of near record high daytime temperatures and relatively light winds. This is the first ozone-based High Pollution Advisory issued in 2005.

ADEQ recommends that children and adults with respiratory problems avoid outdoor activities on Friday and suggests that general public limit outdoor activity throughout the day.

Employers participating in the Valley's Trip Reduction Program should implement their pollution reduction action plans and all Valley motorists should try to reduce ozone-producing emissions by taking the following steps:

  • Car pool, use mass transit, walk, bicycle, telecommute, and/or reduce driving.
  • Fill gasoline tanks after dark, during the cooler evening hours.
  • Avoid using gas-powered lawn or gardening equipment.

"This is the first High Pollution Advisory for ozone we have issued this year. The increasing temperatures combined with light winds have unfortunately created circumstances for high levels of ozone pollution," ADEQ Director Steve Owens said. "We urge Valley residents to take steps to help reduce emissions that lead to the formation of ozone."

Ground-level ozone pollution is caused by the interaction of sunlight with the many pollutants generated by automobiles, gasoline-powered lawn equipment and other sources.

Daily air quality forecasts are on ADEQs web site by telephone at (602) 771-2367.

ADEQ has instituted two levels of air quality notification for Valley residents. An Ozone Health Watch alerts sensitive populations (i.e. senior citizens, children, people with respiratory illnesses) that ground-level ozone is expected to approach unhealthy levels and to consider reducing or rescheduling prolonged activity or heavy exertion outdoors, particularly during afternoon hours when ozone concentrations are typically at their highest. ADEQ issues a High Pollution Advisory for ozone when ozone concentrations are expected to exceed air quality standards. When a High Pollution Advisory is issued, participating Valley businesses are directed to implement employee trip reduction measures and all Valley motorists are encouraged to curb ozone production in the Valley by carpooling, utilizing public transportation and telecommuting when possible.

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ADEQ to Monitor Smoke from the Bart Fire Near Bartlett Lake

PHOENIX (May 16, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens today directed that air quality monitoring equipment be deployed in northeastern Maricopa County to monitor ambient air quality around the Bart Fire burning near Bartlett Lake.

The fire has consumed more than 6000 acres and has affected visibility in some parts of the northeast Valley.

"This monitoring unit will enable us to keep track of any significant impact from the smoke and notify the public immediately if it poses a risk to area residents,"Owens said. "We want to make sure that we take every precaution to protect area residents from any potential health effects from the smoke."

ADEQ's air quality monitoring equipment will collect and assess data for particulate matter, a major air pollutant found in wildfire smoke.

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ADEQ Issues Ozone Health Watch for Tuesday, May 17

PHOENIX (May 16, 2005) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing an Ozone Health Watch for the Phoenix metropolitan area for Tuesday, May 17 due to the possibility of ground-level ozone concentrations nearing unhealthy levels.

Children, senior citizens, and those with respiratory illnesses should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors on Saturday.

Ozone levels are expected to increase due largely to ozone import from southern California, an area that experienced high ozone concentrations over the weekend. Ozone and precursor import, combined with a high pressure system over Arizona, stagnant air conditions and rising temperatures could lead maximum ozone concentrations at some locations on Tuesday to approach the EPA ozone health standard of 85 parts per billion.

"We are concerned that Southern California's air pollution will drive up ozone levels in Arizona," said ADEQ Director Steve Owens. "It is important that people with respiratory problems, especially parents of children with asthma, be aware of the potential for increased levels of ozone on Tuesday."

Ozone levels are expected to peak during the afternoon hours on Tuesday and ADEQ is recommending that children, the elderly, and those with respiratory illnesses such as asthma limit their outdoor activities or reschedule activities to the nighttime hours to reduce exposure when ozone levels are at their highest. ADEQ further suggests people limit their use of gasoline-powered outdoor equipment such as lawnmowers and leaf blowers, and refuel vehicles after sunset.

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

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ADEQ Continues Ozone Health Watch for Saturday, May 14

PHOENIX (May 13, 2005) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is continuing an Ozone Health Watch for the Phoenix metropolitan area for Saturday, May 14 due to the possibility of ground-level ozone concentrations nearing unhealthy levels. An Ozone Health Watch is already in effect for Friday, May 13.

Children, senior citizens, and those with respiratory illnesses should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors on Saturday.

Ozone levels are expected to increase due to a high pressure system over Arizona, stagnant air conditions and rising temperatures. Maximum ozone concentrations at some locations on Saturday may approach the EPA ozone health standard of 85 parts per billion.

"We are extending the Ozone Health Watch through Saturday out of an abundance of caution," said ADEQ Director Steve Owens. "We want to make sure that people with respiratory problems, especially parents of children with asthma, are aware of the potential for increased levels of ozone."

Ozone levels are expected to peak during the afternoon hours on Saturday and ADEQ is recommending that children, the elderly, and those with respiratory illnesses such as asthma limit their outdoor activities or reschedule activities to the nighttime hours to reduce exposure when ozone levels are at their highest. ADEQ further suggests people limit their use of gasoline-powered outdoor equipment such as lawnmowers and leaf blowers, and refuel vehicles after sunset.

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

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ADEQ Issues Ozone Health Watch for Friday, May 13

PHOENIX (May 12, 2005) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued an Ozone Health Watch for the Phoenix metropolitan area for Friday, May 13 due to the possibility of ground-level ozone concentrations nearing unhealthy levels.

Children, senior citizens, and those with respiratory illnesses should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors on Friday.

Ozone levels are expected to increase due to a high pressure system over Arizona, stagnant air conditions and rising temperatures. Maximum ozone concentrations at some locations on Friday may approach the EPA ozone health standard of 85 parts per billion.

Ozone levels are expected to peak during the afternoon hours on Friday and ADEQ is recommending that children, the elderly, and those with respiratory illnesses such as asthma limit their outdoor activities or reschedule activities to the nighttime hours to reduce exposure when ozone levels are at their highest. ADEQ further suggests people limit their use of gasoline-powered outdoor equipment such as lawnmowers and leaf blowers, and refuel vehicles after sunset.

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

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ADEQ Launches "Green" Auto Repair Shop Initiative

PHOENIX (May 4, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced that ADEQ has launched its Arizona Green Business initiative, which will encourage auto repair shop owners, managers, and employees to reduce hazardous waste through the use of established pollution prevention practices and certify shops that meet environmental protection standards.

Auto repair shop owners who follow ADEQ's pollution prevention program can make a significant environmental impact by eliminating or reducing hazardous waste going to landfills and diverting potentially contaminated water from unprotected storm drains and waterways.

Shops that successfully adopt the pollution prevention techniques will be certified as Arizona Green Businesses and will receive the program's logo to display at their facility and use in marketing and advertising.

By using water-based cleaning systems instead of harmful chemicals, shops reduce employees' exposure to harmful chemicals, and reduce their use of solvents, resulting in less pollution and lowered costs. An average shop can reduce solvent use by about 160 gallons per year by using an Aqueous Parts Cleanings System.

ADEQ is partnering with AAA Arizona to launch the initiative and will help guide AAA Arizona in inspecting and certifying. There are 175 repair shops affiliated with AAA Arizona throughout the state, and AAA Arizona will encourage these shops to move toward Green Business certification. AAA's club-owned auto repair facility in Peoria is the first ADEQ-designated Green Business.

"Working with AAA will help get this effort off to a great start," Owens said. "This innovative public-private partnership will encourage auto shop owners to be good environmental stewards."

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ADEQ Launches Initiative to Control Erosion and Protect San Pedro River from Unlawful Dumping

PHOENIX (May 2, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ is launching the San Pedro Initiative, a project designed to improve water quality along the San Pedro River by controlling erosion and preventing unlawful dumping of waste and debris into the river.

As part of the initiative, ADEQ is giving a grant for phase one of the project to the San Pedro Natural Resource Conservation District to study erosion problems along a 30-mile area that includes the main channel and riparian corridor of the San Pedro River, from the northern boundary of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area to the Narrows in Cochise County.

"This important project is part of a long-term effort to improve water quality in the San Pedro River and throughout Arizona by working with the local community to use appropriate erosion-control practices," Owens said." This is a win-win for the river and for residents in the area."

The first phase of the initiative will use aerial, hydrologic, and surveyor data to identify sites affected by erosion, inappropriately placed materials, landowners or land-management entities, and places where erosion-control efforts should be a high priority.

In particular, the project will target sites where local construction waste, old cars and other inappropriate materials have been dumped in the river to abate erosion. Many landowners lack the financial ability to remove and replace improper attempts to control erosion.

The projected second phase of the initiative will involve removing inappropriate or dangerous stabilization materials and providing landowners with information about erosion control, all with the ultimate goal of improving water quality.

The project includes the creation of publications and documents about local erosion issues and proper methods for controlling erosion. Updates will be posted on the ADEQ and NRCD Web sites.

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