Newsroom: Press Release Archive: January 2006
  • Jan. 31, 2006: ADEQ Issues High Pollution Advisory for PM10 Particulates for Phoenix Metro Area for Wednesday, February 1
  • Jan. 31, 2006: Ajo Meets Federal Air Quality Standard for PM10
  • Jan. 24, 2006: ADEQ Director Owens Reminds High School Seniors of January 30 Deadline for Recycling Scholarship Program
  • Jan. 24, 2006: ADEQ Sponsors Conference on Redevelopment Along Route 66 in Northern Arizona
  • Jan. 19, 2006: ADEQ Order Upheld Against Iron King Landfill in Yavapai County
  • Jan. 11, 2006: ADEQ Issues High Pollution Advisory for PM10 and PM2.5 Particulates for Phoenix Metro Area for Thursday, January 12
  • Jan. 10, 2006: ADEQ Director Owens Announces $56,144 Community Recycling Education Grant to Mesa
  • Jan. 10, 2006: ADEQ Extends High Pollution Advisory for PM10 Particulates for Phoenix Metro Area for Wednesday, January 11
  • Jan. 9, 2006: ADEQ Issues First High Pollution Advisory of 2006 for PM10 Particulates for Phoenix Metro Area for Tuesday, January 10
  • Jan. 9, 2006: ADEQ Director Owens Announces Recycling Grant to Tucson Clean and Beautiful
  • Jan. 4, 2006: ADEQ Director Owens Announces $199,000 Community Recycling Grant to the City of Maricopa in Pinal County
  • Jan. 4, 2006: ADEQ Director Owens Announces Community Recycling Grants Totaling $109,427 for Anthem

ADEQ Issues High Pollution Advisory for PM10 Particulates for Phoenix Metro Area for Wednesday, February 1

PHOENIX (Jan. 31, 2006) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Wednesday, February 1 due to forecast weather conditions expected to generate levels of coarse particulate matter (PM10) that could exceed unhealthy levels in the Phoenix metro area.

Near stagnant winds and the continued dry conditions in the Phoenix metro area are combining with the pollution buildup experienced during the work week to produce unhealthy levels of PM10.

Wednesday's HPA will be the 18th HPA of the winter season. ADEQ issued four HPAs in November 2005, nine in December 2005 and four in January 2006.

"We are again experiencing the same type of weather pattern seen during November and December," said ADEQ Director Steve Owens. "This is the 105th day without measurable rain in the metro area, and there has been very little wind. These conditions continue to exacerbate our air quality problems."

The HPA urges people with respiratory illnesses to reduce their outdoor activities on Wednesday.

To help reduce PM10 particulate levels, ADEQ is urging people to limit driving, use the bus, carpool, telecommute and reduce dust-generating activities where possible. A HPA also alerts businesses to implement their travel reduction plans.

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

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Ajo Meets Federal Air Quality Standard for PM10

PHOENIX (Jan. 31, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that the Ajo area in Pima County is in compliance with the federal air quality standard for coarse particulate matter (PM10). This is the first step toward approval of the air quality plan for the Ajo area and full redesignation of the area to attainment status.

Ajo is one of the earliest settlements in Arizona and had experienced high particulate matter pollution levels for decades due to mining and copper smelting. The Ajo area has not exceeded the federal health standard for PM10 since 1987. After closing the New Cornelia mine in 1985, Phelps Dodge capped a large copper tailings pile, which led to decreased PM10 emissions and improved air quality.

"This is great news for southern Arizona," ADEQ Director Owens said. "The Federal Government is finally officially acknowledging that air quality in the Ajo area has improved significantly."

Owens noted that ADEQ has been working aggressively to have EPA redesignate areas in Arizona as being in attainment with federal health standards. The PM10 determination for Ajo follows the announcement in May 2005 that the Phoenix area has attained the federal 1-hour health standard for ozone and the announcement in September 2004 that the Phoenix metropolitan area has attained the federal health standard for carbon monoxide. However, Owens noted that the Phoenix area is not in attainment with the federal PM10 standard or the federal 8-hour ozone standard.

If no adverse comments are received, the finding that the Ajo area has met the PM10 health standard will become final 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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ADEQ Director Owens Reminds High School Seniors of January 30 Deadline for Recycling Scholarship Program

PHOENIX (Jan. 24, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens is reminding students, teachers and parents that this coming Monday, January 30, is the deadline for Arizona high school seniors to apply for ADEQ's Arizona Recycling Scholarship Program, which provides scholarship funds for 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.

Scholarship winners will be announced during February. 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.

To apply, students must submit proposals outlining waste reduction or recycling projects in their school or community. ADEQ must receive the proposal by 5 p.m. on January 30. 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.

"The new Arizona Recycling Scholarship Program offers a great way for high school seniors to cope with the ever-increasing cost of college while doing something good for our state and our environment," Owens said. "We want to make sure that everyone is aware that the deadline to apply for the scholarships is rapidly approaching."

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

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ADEQ Sponsors Conference on Redevelopment Along Route 66 in Northern Arizona

PHOENIX (Jan. 24, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ is hosting a two-day conference on January 26 and 27 to explore economic redevelopment opportunities for contaminated properties in communities along Route 66 in Northern Arizona. ADEQ is jointly sponsoring the conference with the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The conference will focus on ways to use federal "brownfields" grant funds to clean up contaminated properties in communities along Route 66 and put those properties back into productive economic use. Day One of the conference (January 26) will be held in Winslow; Day Two (January 27) will be in Holbrook.

"This conference will address opportunities for economic redevelopment along Route 66 and the availability of federal funds to clean up the contamination that is keeping many properties from being put to good use," Owens said.

Owens noted that the conference is an outgrowth of the highly successful "Route 66 Initiative" that ADEQ has been conducting to clean up abandoned underground storage tank sites in towns along Route 66.

"We have targeted resources along Route 66 to clean up contaminated properties and help communities put them back into productive use," Owens said. "We want to help these communities as much as we can."

Owens added EPA wants to build on the success of ADEQ's Route 66 Initiative and make federal brownfields grant money available to clean up properties along the corridor as well. EPA officials will be present at the conference to talk about the brownfields program.

The first day of the conference is 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., January 26 at the La Posada Hotel, 303 E. Second St. (Route 66), Winslow. The second conference day is 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., January 27 at the Open Class Building at the Navajo County Fairgrounds, 404 E. Navajo Blvd., Holbrook.

More information is available from ADEQ at (602) 771-4309 or ADEQ's web site.

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ADEQ Order Upheld Against Iron King Landfill in Yavapai County

PHOENIX (Jan. 19, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ's Compliance Order against the Iron King Landfill in Dewey-Humboldt in Yavapai County has been upheld by a state Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and that he has signed an order accepting the ALJ's decision.

ADEQ inspected the Iron King Landfill during summer 2005 and discovered numerous violations at the facility, including failure to apply adequate daily cover at the landfill, illegally accepting waste tires and municipal solid waste and failure to screen incoming waste loads, keep inspection records and properly train employees.

Based on the inspection results, ADEQ issued a Compliance Order to Kuhles Services, Inc., the operators of the Iron King Landfill, in September 2005, which required Kuhles Services to immediately begin correcting the violations and operate the landfill in compliance with the company's permits. Among other things, the Order directed Kuhles to cease accepting solid waste until they can demonstrate that employees are properly trained to operate and maintain the landfill, apply daily cover to the landfill, and excavate and remove previously disposed unpermitted waste. Kuhles closed the landfill after receiving the Order.

Kuhles appealed ADEQ's Order, and a hearing was held before the ALJ. The ALJ rejected Kuhles' appeal and found that Kuhles had committed all of the violations charged in the Order.

"We are very pleased that our Compliance Order has been upheld," ADEQ Director Owens said. "The Iron King Landfill was being operated in violation of the law and was accepting wastes for which it did not have approval from ADEQ. These are serious violations."

The Iron King Landfill currently remains closed.

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ADEQ Issues High Pollution Advisory for PM10 and PM2.5 Particulates for Phoenix Metro Area for Thursday, January 12

PHOENIX (Jan. 11, 2006) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) through Thursday, January 12 due to forecast weather conditions expected to generate levels of coarse particulate matter (PM10) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) that could exceed unhealthy levels in the Phoenix metro area. A HPA for PM10 is currently in effect for today.

This marks the first PM2.5 HPA of the new year. Vehicular traffic is a leading source of PM2.5 emissions, and Valley residents should reduce unnecessary driving as much as possible during a HPA.

"The continued buildup of pollutants, coupled with the stagnant air mass, now has resulted in elevated levels of fine particulates," ADEQ Director Steve Owens said.

The HPA calls for people with respiratory illnesses to consider reducing their outdoor activities on Thursday. Fine particulate matter poses a significant threat to public health because it can aggravate respiratory illnesses, including asthma, and the particles can be difficult to expel from the lungs.

Current weak wind patterns, ongoing dry weather and the return to typical work schedules are factors leading to increased levels of particulate matter. A stagnant air mass hanging over the Valley is not expected to weaken in the short-term.

To help reduce PM10 and PM2.5 levels, ADEQ is urging people to limit driving, use the bus, carpool, telecommute and reduce dust-generating activities where possible. A HPA also alerts businesses to implement their travel reduction plans.

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

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces $56,144 Community Recycling Education Grant to Mesa

PHOENIX (Jan. 10, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ is providing a $56,144 grant to the City of Mesa to help fund recycling education.

The grant will be used to help educate Mesa residents about what materials are recyclable and should go into recycling barrels, with the goal of keeping recyclable items from being deposited into trash barrels and keeping nonrecyclable items out of recycling barrels.

The recycling information will be provided to Mesa residents through a variety of ways, including inserts in utility bills, the city cable TV channel, special events and presentations at homeowner's association meetings, schools and local businesses through the City Chamber of Commerce.

The grant is made under 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 the City of Mesa's efforts to increase recycling in the community."

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ADEQ Extends High Pollution Advisory for PM10 Particulates for Phoenix Metro Area for Wednesday, January 11

PHOENIX (Jan. 10, 2006) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has extended a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) through Wednesday, January 11 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. A HPA for PM10 is currently in effect for today.

Current weak wind patterns, ongoing dry weather and the return to typical work schedules are factors leading to increased levels of particulate matter. A stagnant air mass hanging over the Valley is not expected to weaken in the short-term.

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

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

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ADEQ Issues First High Pollution Advisory of 2006 for PM10 Particulates for Phoenix Metro Area for Tuesday, January 10

PHOENIX (Jan. 9, 2006) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued the first High Pollution Advisory (HPA) in 2006 for Tuesday, January 10 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.

Current weak wind patterns, ongoing dry weather and the post-holiday return to typical work schedules are factors leading to increased levels of particulate matter.

Tuesday's forecast marks the first HPA of 2006. Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, 2005 ADEQ issued 13 HPAs. The HPA issued for Tuesday includes only PM10.

"We were fortunate that we had a brief break from the pollution during the holiday period and did not have to issue any high pollution advisories over the last two weeks," said ADEQ Director Steve Owens. "The air quality during that time was still not good, however, and now that everyone is resuming their typical work and travel patterns, particulate pollution levels are increasing again."

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

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

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces Recycling Grant to Tucson Clean and Beautiful

PHOENIX (Jan. 9, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ has awarded a $16,396 grant to Tucson Clean and Beautiful to support recycling efforts in southern Arizona.

Tucson Clean and Beautiful will use the grant to produce bilingual waste reduction and recycling guides for Tucson and Pima County.

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 Tucson Clean and Beautiful's efforts to increase recycling in the community."

News Media interested in additional information on this or any other topic concerning the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality should contact the Office of Communications at (602) 771 2215.

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces $199,000 Community Recycling Grant to the City of Maricopa in Pinal County

PHOENIX (Jan. 4, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ is providing $199,000 to help fund recycling in the City of Maricopa in Pinal County.

The project provides 10,000 single family homes with curbside recycling via partnerships with the Recycling Association of Maricopa, Maricopa Disposal Services and the Ak-Chin Indian Community.

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.

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

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces Community Recycling Grants Totaling $109,427 for Anthem

PHOENIX (Jan. 4, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ has awarded $109,427 to Paradise Waste Services to fund recycling in the Community of Anthem in northern Maricopa County.

Paradise Waste Services was awarded $100,000 to expand Anthem's residential curbside recycling program by an additional 1,600 residential units, bringing the total number to 9,700. 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.

ADEQ also awarded $9,427 for Paradise Waste's community awareness campaign to inform and educate the residents of Anthem about the new 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 Paradise Waste's efforts to increase recycling in Arizona."

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