Newsroom: Press Release Archive: November 2005
  • Nov. 30, 2005: ADEQ Director Steve Owens Announces $550,000 Penalty Against Praxair, Inc. for Air Quality Violations
  • Nov. 10, 2005: ADEQ Director Owens Appoints Sybil Smith as Director of Operations for ADEQ's Northern Regional Office (NRO) in Flagstaff
  • Nov. 3, 2005: ADEQ Director Owens Launches Compliance Assistance Effort for Small Communities

ADEQ Director Steve Owens Announces $550,000 Penalty Against Praxair, Inc. for Air Quality Violations

PHOENIX (Nov. 30, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced a $550,000 penalty against Praxair for air quality violations at the company's Mohave County facility.

Owens said that Praxair has entered into a Consent Judgment with ADEQ and is paying the penalty because since at least May 2003 the company failed to properly maintain its air pollution scrubbing equipment and had illegally operated without air quality monitoring equipment connected to the scrubber. Praxair's operation in this manner led to an unknown amount of emissions of arsine, a toxic gas that is formed when arsenic comes in contact with acid. Praxair also violated several other conditions of its air quality permit requiring monitoring and reporting of emissions of hazardous air pollutants at its facility which is located approximately 15 miles south of Kingman.

"Arsine is a very hazardous gas, and the substantial penalty reflects the grave and serious nature of the violations that occurred at this facility," Owens said.

Per the Consent Judgment, Praxair will be required to monitor and report emission levels to ADEQ. Failure to monitor and report, or failure to follow the operations and maintenance plan approved by ADEQ could result in additional penalties against Praxair.

Praxair's Kingman facility produces and supplies gases for various manufacturing purposes.

The Consent Judgment is subject to final court approval in Maricopa County Superior Court.

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ADEQ Director Owens Appoints Sybil Smith as Director of Operations for ADEQ's Northern Regional Office (NRO) in Flagstaff

PHOENIX (Nov. 10, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that he has appointed Sybil Smith as Director of Operations for ADEQ's Northern Regional Office (NRO) in Flagstaff.

Smith will be responsible for the administrative operation of ADEQ's Flagstaff office, which covers the department's activities in Coconino, Mohave, Yavapai, Navajo and Apache Counties. She will also assist NRO Director Matt Capalby in outreach efforts to stakeholders in northern Arizona.

"Sybil Smith brings a wealth of managerial experience to ADEQ, as well as experience on environmental issues," Director Owens said. "She is also well known in the Flagstaff community. We are very fortunate to have Sybil join us."

A longtime resident of Flagstaff, Smith retired last year from W. L. Gore and Associates after 18 years as Environmental, Health and Safety leader at the company's medical-products facility.

While working at W. L. Gore, Smith helped found the Coconino County Local Emergency Planning Committee. She is also active in the United Way of Northern Arizona and serves as its volunteer emergency planner.

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ADEQ Director Owens Launches Compliance Assistance Effort for Small Communities

PHOENIX (Nov. 3, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ is launching a program to assist small communities throughout the state comply with state environmental regulations.

The effort will be launched with the assistance of a $12,000 grant from the Environmental Council of States (ECOS) to ADEQ. The grant will help pay for outreach to small communities and helping these communities develop Environmental Management Systems (EMSs) to improve environmental compliance.

"We want to make it easier for small communities to meet the requirements of the law, especially small communities in rural Arizona," Owens said. "Our goal is to provide small communities with the assistance they may need in light of their limited resources."

EMSs are processes and practices that enable communities to reduce their environmental impact, such as pollution prevention and conserving resources.

"Our focus is on partnering with small communities to protect the quality of life in rural Arizona," Owens said. "The result will be increased compliance, enhanced relationships with small communities and a cleaner environment for all Arizonans."

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