Newsroom: Press Release Archive: October 2005
  • Oct. 19, 2005: ADEQ Director Owens Announces End to Sewer Hookup Moratorium for Bisbee
  • Oct. 19, 2005: ADEQ Director Owens Announces Citation to ASARCO for Air Quality Violations
  • Oct. 11, 2005: ADEQ to Host Conference on Underground Storage Tank Program
  • Oct. 6, 2005: ADEQ Director Owens Announces Effort to Clean Up "Standin' on the Corner" Site in Winslow
  • Oct. 5, 2005: ADEQ Director Owens Announces Creation of Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund
  • Oct. 4, 2005: ADEQ to Host Brownfields Workshops

ADEQ Director Owens Announces End to Sewer Hookup Moratorium for Bisbee

PHOENIX (Oct. 19, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ has lifted the sewer hookup moratorium for the communities of Old Bisbee, Saginaw and Lowell, all of which are part of Bisbee, in Cochise County.

The moratorium was part of a Consent Order entered into by Bisbee and ADEQ in 2001. The moratorium was placed on new construction while Bisbee worked to improve the area's public sewer system. Lifting of the moratorium in these three remaining communities allows new construction to begin throughout the entire City of Bisbee.

"This is a great day for Bisbee," said ADEQ Director Owens. "ADEQ and the city have worked closely together for several years to ensure that the community has a wastewater system that will meet the area's needs and protect precious groundwater resources there. Bisbee should be proud of the progress that has been made."

Per the Consent Order, Bisbee was required to build a new wastewater treatment plant, finish construction of a collection system and upgrade its wastewater infrastructure. Bisbee officials advised ADEQ last week that the sewer work was complete in Old Bisbee, Saginaw and Lowell.

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces Citation to ASARCO for Air Quality Violations

PHOENIX (Oct. 19, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ has issued a Notice of Violation to American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) for air quality violations at the company's facility in Hayden.

Last month, ADEQ inspectors witnessed wind-blown and airborne tailings particles, a violation of air quality regulations, during an inspection of ASARCO's facility in Hayden. The inspectors observed that several areas of the facility's tailing pond were dry and had breaks on the encrusted surface, a condition which led to tailings particles becoming airborne.

"ASARCO failed to prevent tailings from becoming airborne, as required by their permit," Owens said. "ASARCO must stop allowing its loose tailings to threaten citizens who live near this facility."

Owens added that ADEQ will require ASARCO take steps to ensure that airborne tailings are kept to a minimum.

The ASARCO facility in Hayden processes copper-containing sulfide ore. The company halted operations at the facility in July.

The company faces potential penalties of up to $10,000 per day.

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ADEQ to Host Conference on Underground Storage Tank Program

PHOENIX (Oct. 11, 2005) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality will host a free conference on the Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program on Wed., Oct. 12, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Arizona Department of Transportation Human Resource Development Center, 1130 N. 22nd Avenue, Phoenix.

The conference is designed to educate and inform tank owners, contractors and other key stakeholders on issues concerning USTs, including release prevention, investigation and clean-up. The conference will also cover topics related to the State Assurance Fund (SAF), UST-related legislation and other issues.

ADEQ Director Steve Owens noted that the SAF will pay for 90% of the costs to clean up contamination from a leaking UST up to $500,000. Owens pointed out, however, that because of recent legislative changes to the UST law, SAF funds cannot be used for UST releases reported after June 30, 2006.

"Cleaning up leaking USTs is a major priority for ADEQ," Owens added. "It is important for everyone to be aware of the June 30, 2006 eligibility cut-off for SAF funding. If owners miss that date, they may be required to pay the cleanup costs themselves."

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

PHOENIX (Oct. 6, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ is undertaking an effort to evaluate and clean up a fire-damaged building adjacent to the Standin' on the Corner park in Winslow that has caused the park to be closed to the public for nearly a year.

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

Owens said that Winslow Mayor Jim Boles asked ADEQ to help the city address the asbestos problem and develop a plan to clean up the debris. "We've worked very closely with Mayor Boles to get this project started." said Owens. "This is a very important first step toward getting the building debris removed and eventually reopening the park."

"ADEQ has worked closely with us and local residents in an expeditious manner to get this issue resolved," said Mayor Boles. "We look forward to getting the building cleaned up and reopening the park as soon as possible."

Owens said that ADEQ will use funding available under the federal Brownfields program to a conduct an assessment of the extent of the asbestos contamination and develop a plan to clean up the debris. Owens anticipated that a contractor to conduct the assessment would be hired by ADEQ by early November.

Owens added that ADEQ will work to identify a funding source for the clean up once the extent of asbestos contamination has been determined and the potential costs are identified.

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces Creation of Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund

PHOENIX (Oct. 5, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced creation of the Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund to clean up urban properties in Phoenix and Tucson that are unutilized or underutilized due to potential environmental contamination.

Owens said that ADEQ recently entered into an agreement with the cities of Phoenix and Tucson to implement the low-interest loan and grant program.

"The Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund will foster economic development in Phoenix and Tucson by cleaning up properties that have been idle for years," said Owens.

Under the program, ADEQ will oversee cleanup of properties identified by officials in the two cities. The program is being funded through a $1 million grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information about the Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund, please contact ADEQ's Brownfields Program at (602) 771-4401.

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ADEQ to Host Brownfields Workshops

PHOENIX (Oct. 4, 2005) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ will host four workshops to assist local communities interested in applying for Brownfields Program Assessment, Cleanup or Revolving Loan Fund grants that can be used to clean up contaminated sites.

ADEQ will host workshops at the following locations:

  • Phoenix: Oct. 5, 9 a.m.-noon, ADEQ Headquarters, 1110 W. Washington Street, Room 145
  • Tucson: Oct. 6, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 52 W. Congress, 2nd Floor, Rio Nuevo Conference Room
  • Yuma: Oct. 7, 9 a.m.-noon, Yuma Department of Public Works, 155 W. 14th Street, Building 200, Public Meeting Room
  • Flagstaff: Oct. 11, 1 p.m.-5p.m., City Hall, 211 W. Aspen Street, Staff Conference Room

"We want to help local communities learn how to obtain these important grants so they can clean up contaminated properties and put them back into productive economic use," said Owens. "This is a win-win for the environment and economic development."

The Brownfields grants provide resources to return potentially contaminated properties back to productive reuse, spurring economic development and growth at underutilized properties. The workshops focus on helping participants understand the basic elements of the grant programs, the process for submitting grant proposals and the required proposal elements. The workshops are free and open to the public.

Brownfields funding is normally provided to local governments for assessment and cleanup of publicly-owned properties.

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