Newsroom: Press Release Archive: July 2006
  • July 28, 2006: Lake Powell Developer to Pay $90,000 for Violating Water Quality Laws
  • July 24, 2006: ADEQ Director Owens Announces That L.A. Chemical Will Pay $10,000 in Penalties for Acid Spill that Shut Down Part of Downtown Phoenix
  • July 20, 2006: ADEQ Extends Ozone High Pollution Advisory through Friday, July 21
  • July 19, 2006: ADEQ Extends Ozone High Pollution Advisory through Thursday, July 20
  • July 18, 2006: ADEQ Issues Ozone High Pollution Advisory for Wednesday, July 19
  • July 18, 2006: ADEQ Director Owens Awards $27,033 Grant for Water Quality Improvement Project in Cochise County
  • July 17, 2006: ADEQ Director Owens Encourages Arizona Counties and Small Communities to Apply for Tank Closure Program Funds
  • July 12, 2006: ADEQ Director Owens Awards $24,722 Grant for Water Quality Improvement Project in Coconino County
  • July 11, 2006: ADEQ Director Owens Awards $217,982 Grant for Water Quality Improvement Project in Yavapai County
  • July 10, 2006: ADEQ Director Owens Announces Air Quality Permit for Phelps Dodge Mine near Safford

Lake Powell Developer to Pay $90,000 for Violating Water Quality Laws

PHOENIX (July 28, 2006) -- Attorney General Terry Goddard and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced a $90,000 settlement with Greenehaven Development Corporation and its subsidiaries. The settlement resolves a lawsuit charging violations of Arizona water quality laws.

Greenehaven is the developer of Lake Powell View Investment Properties, a large residential and commercial development outside Page. The lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court charged that Greenehaven violated Arizona law by failing to secure sewage treatment permits, failing to follow regulations governing sewage collection systems and failing to adhere to drinking water testing requirements.

In April 2004, ADEQ inspectors discovered that Greenehaven was operating a wastewater treatment plant and had begun construction of a drinking water distribution system to serve portions of its Lake Powell View Investment Properties without securing the appropriate permits.

"Safe water is fundamentally important to every community and is a necessary component of a strong and stable economy," Goddard said. "Violations of our water quality laws pose direct threats to the health of Arizona citizens and will not be tolerated."

"These are serious water quality violations," Owens said. "GDC's failure to monitor water quality and inform the public and ADEQ of the results, and its failure to obtain the proper permit, were unacceptable. The substantial penalty reflects the serious nature of the violations."

The settlement agreement requires Greenehaven to close its wastewater treatment plant, construct new sewer lines to divert wastewater from the Greenehaven community to the City of Page wastewater treatment plant within two years, and pay $90,000 in civil penalties.

The settlement is subject to Court approval. Greenehaven must submit payment to the State within 30 days of the judgment's effective date.

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces That L.A. Chemical Will Pay $10,000 in Penalties for Acid Spill that Shut Down Part of Downtown Phoenix

PHOENIX (July 24, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that L.A. Chemical will pay $10,000 in civil penalties under a Consent Judgment for a February 2005 spill of nearly 300 gallons of hydrofluorosilicic acid that shut down part of downtown Phoenix for several hours and sent several people to the hospital for treatment.

"Any spill of dangerous acid is extremely serious," Owens said. "This situation was especially unacceptable because part of downtown Phoenix had to be shut down to deal with it and the health and safety of a number of people were put at risk."

The spill occurred when a container of hydrofluorosilicic acid leaked inside a semi-truck operated by L.A. Chemical that was traveling through downtown Phoenix. The acid left a trail on city streets starting at 7th Ave. and Grant Ave. and continuing north over the 7th Ave. Bridge to Monroe St. The truck stopped near 5th Ave. and Madison after the leak was discovered.

Police reports show that an officer on the scene observed that the container was not secured and also had sustained impacts on four sides. Though it was company policy to secure acid containers to the truck, the driver told the officer he had failed to comply.

Hydrofluorosilicic acid is harmful by ingestion, inhalation, or skin contact. Because of the risk from the spill, the Phoenix Fire and Police Departments closed off the affected area and several surrounding blocks in downtown Phoenix for nearly 12 hours until approximately 10 p.m. to reduce the possibility of exposure and allow for clean-up of the acid. Sixteen people plus the driver were treated at local hospitals for possible exposure to the acid.

The Consent Judgment is subject to Court approval.

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ADEQ Extends Ozone High Pollution Advisory through Friday, July 21

PHOENIX (July 20, 2006) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has extended a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Friday, July 21, for the Phoenix metropolitan area due to forecast ground-level ozone concentrations expected to exceed air quality standards. A High Pollution Advisory is in effect for today, Thursday, July 20.

ADEQ recommends that children and adults with respiratory problems avoid outdoor activities on Friday and suggests that the 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 reduce ozone-producing emissions by taking the following steps:

  • Car pool, use mass transit, walk, bicycle, telecommute and/or reduce driving.
  • Make sure tires are properly inflated and wheels aligned.
  • Make arrangements to telecommute one or more days per week if possible.
  • Fill gasoline tanks after 4 p.m.

This is the seventh ozone HPA that ADEQ has issued this year. It is also the third consecutive HPA issued this week due to forecast weather conditions.

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. Ozone can irritate the respiratory system, reduce lung function, aggravate asthma and other chronic lung conditions, and inflame and damage the cells that line the lungs. Repeated short-term ozone damage to children's developing lungs may lead to reduced lung function in adulthood.

Daily air quality forecasts are on ADEQ's Web site at or by calling (602) 771-2367. Those interested in receiving the air quality forecast via email can subscribe to our daily forecast list.

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ADEQ Extends Ozone High Pollution Advisory through Thursday, July 20

PHOENIX (July 19, 2006) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has extended a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Thursday, July 20, for the Phoenix metropolitan area due to forecast ground-level ozone concentrations expected to exceed air quality standards. A High Pollution Advisory is in effect for today, Wednesday, July 19.

ADEQ recommends that children and adults with respiratory problems avoid outdoor activities on Thursday and suggests that the general public limit outdoor activity throughout the day. Due to forecast weather conditions, ADEQ anticipates that the HPA will be extended to Friday.

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

  • Car pool, use mass transit, walk, bicycle, telecommute and/or reduce driving.
  • Make sure tires are properly inflated and wheels aligned.
  • Make arrangements to telecommute one or more days per week if possible.
  • Fill gasoline tanks after 4 p.m.

The forecast includes winds from the east, which tend to trap ozone in the Valley and contribute to elevated ozone levels, along with high temperatures and other conditions.

This is the fifth ozone HPA that ADEQ has issued this year.

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. Ozone can irritate the respiratory system, reduce lung function, aggravate asthma and other chronic lung conditions, and inflame and damage the cells that line the lungs. Repeated short-term ozone damage to children's developing lungs may lead to reduced lung function in adulthood.

Daily air quality forecasts are on ADEQ's web site at or by calling (602) 771-2367. Those interested in receiving the air quality forecast via email can subscribe to our daily forecast list.

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ADEQ Issues Ozone High Pollution Advisory for Wednesday, July 19

PHOENIX (July 18, 2006) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued a High Pollution Advisory for Wednesday, July 19, for the Phoenix metropolitan area due to forecast ground-level ozone concentrations expected to exceed air quality standards.

ADEQ recommends that children and adults with respiratory problems avoid outdoor activities on Wednesday and suggests that the 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 reduce ozone-producing emissions by taking the following steps:

  • Car pool, use mass transit, walk, bicycle, telecommute and/or reduce driving.
  • Make sure tires are properly inflated and wheels aligned.
  • Make arrangements to telecommute one or more days per week if possible.
  • Fill gasoline tanks after 4 p.m.

The forecast includes winds from the east, which tend to trap ozone in the Valley and contribute to elevated ozone levels, along with high temperatures and other conditions. 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. Ozone can irritate the respiratory system, reduce lung function, aggravate asthma and other chronic lung conditions, and inflame and damage the cells that line the lungs. Repeated short-term ozone damage to children's developing lungs may lead to reduced lung function in adulthood.

Daily air quality forecasts are on ADEQ's Web site at or by calling (602) 771-2367. Those interested in receiving the air quality forecast via email can subscribe to our daily forecast list.

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ADEQ Director Owens Awards $27,033 Grant for Water Quality Improvement Project in Cochise County

PHOENIX (July 18, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that the department has awarded a $27,033 grant to fund a water quality improvement project in the Middle San Pedro Sub-watershed near Benson in Cochise County.

The grant goes to the Community Watershed Alliance (CWA) to implement practices that will curb erosion occurring upland in the Middle San Pedro Sub-watershed, which ultimately impacts the San Pedro River. The project will install shoreline stabilization structures. Vegetation reseeding will be encouraged where warranted by available water sources and soil types.

The sub-watershed has experienced severe challenges regarding water quality leading into the San Pedro River. New residential developments, yard maintenance and road construction have reduced ground cover, accelerating runoff and increasing erosion. CWA will address these issues using community outreach, on-site training and implementation of best management practices in the area.

"These funds will help protect local sub-watershed for the area and the San Pedro River," Director Owens said. "We are pleased to support this important local effort."

The grant is funded with federal dollars provided to ADEQ under the Clean Water Act.

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ADEQ Director Owens Encourages Arizona Counties and Small Communities to Apply for Tank Closure Program Funds

PHOENIX (July 17, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens is encouraging counties and small communities to apply for ADEQ's County and Municipal Tank Closure Program, a state-funded program to assist residents, businesses and government entities with the removal of abandoned underground storage tanks (USTs) and cleanup of associated contamination.

Funds are available through the program for the removal of abandoned USTs in communities of fewer than 15,000 people and unincorporated county areas. The department is accepting applications to participate in the program from eligible counties, cities and towns.

"Abandoned USTs present safety concerns and are a potential source of groundwater contamination," Owens said. "This program creates a win win for Arizona communities by removing abandoned USTs at no cost to property owners, which paves the way for economic redevelopment and protection of precious natural resources."

Affected property owners should contact their city manager, mayor or county representative to participate in the program. Once ADEQ approves an application, ADEQ will have the USTs removed.

The County and Municipal Tank Closure Program was created in 2001. Since that time ADEQ has removed more than 100 USTs across the state.

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ADEQ Director Owens Awards $24,722 Grant for Water Quality Improvement Project in Coconino County

PHOENIX (July 12, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that the department has awarded a $24,722 grant to fund a water quality improvement project in the Verde Watershed near Flagstaff in Coconino County.

The grant is being awarded to The Nature Conservancy to improve and protect the Bebb willow wetland community through the installation of French drains, water bars and elevated road ways within the Hart Prairie Preserve. Under the project, The Nature Conservancy hopes to restore the hydrologic flows in the upper Verde Watershed as well as reduce sediment loading to the Bebb willow community, decrease flood velocity and increase recharge to precious water resources.

Unpaved roads are a major contributor of sediment in critical natural drainage areas in the uppermost portion of the Verde Watershed. High sediment levels lead to decreased water quality in Hart Creek, part of Volunteer Wash, which drains into Sycamore Creek and, ultimately, into the Verde River.

"These funds will help protect and preserve the Verde Watershed," Director Owens said. "This is an extremely important effort."

The grant is funded with federal dollars provided to ADEQ under the Clean Water Act.

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ADEQ Director Owens Awards $217,982 Grant for Water Quality Improvement Project in Yavapai County

PHOENIX (July 11, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that the department has awarded a $217,982 grant to fund a water quality improvement project in the Granite Creek Watershed near Prescott in Yavapai County.

The grant is being awarded to the Prescott Creeks Preservation Association to redesign and construct a stormwater runoff basin, apply signage to storm drains informing the public of the consequences of dumping waste down the drain, develop best management practices for ranchers and community members and monitor for metals and bacteria to assess water quality improvement for the Granite Creek Watershed.

The Granite Creek Watershed is experiencing several water quality challenges due to a combination of factors. As growth in Yavapai County continues, increased stormwater runoff leads to erosion and decreased water quality. Creeks in the watershed are also potentially impacted by bacteria and pathogen-containing manure from nearby equestrian facilities. Additionally, improper disposal of used oil continues to present significant challenges to water quality in the area due to residents illegally dumping used oil and other chemicals into storm drains. These factors will be closely examined and addressed by ADEQ's grant to the Prescott Creeks Preservation Association.

"These funds will help protect the Granite Creek Watershed's precious water resources in a fast-growing area," Director Owens said. "We are pleased to support this extremely important local effort."

The grant is funded with federal dollars provided to ADEQ under the Clean Water Act.

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces Air Quality Permit for Phelps Dodge Mine near Safford

PHOENIX (July 10, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ has issued the air quality permit for the Phelps Dodge copper mine near Safford in Graham County.

The facility, which will operate as an open-pit copper mine, is estimated to have an 18-year operating life and produce approximately 961 million tons of ore and development rock.

The permit regulates emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and sulfuric acid mist from the mine and the associated mineral crusher, extraction facility and leach pad.

"This is a strong permit that will protect air quality in the area, while enabling Phelps Dodge to continue moving forward toward opening the mine and creating much-needed jobs in the Safford area," Director Owens said.

The air permit is the last permit Phelps Dodge needed from ADEQ to begin construction of the mine. On May 18, Owens announced that ADEQ had issued the necessary water quality permit - called an aquifer protection permit - for the mine.

Owens added that his office has worked hard to expedite permits in rural areas, to help support economic growth, while protecting air and water quality.

"With the air and water quality permits now issued, Phelps Dodge can begin moving forward with construction of the mine," Owens said.

Under Arizona law, the air quality permit is issued for a term of 5 years.

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