Newsroom: Press Release Archive: November 2006
  • Nov. 21, 2006: Carioca Corp. to Pay $80,000 for Dumping Contaminated Soil
  • Nov. 16, 2006: ADEQ Issues High Pollution Advisory for Particulate Matter for Friday, November 17
  • Nov. 15, 2006: Regulatory Review Council Approves ADEQ Regulations to Cut Toxic Mercury Emissions from Coal-Burning Power Plants
  • Nov. 7, 2006: ADEQ Issues First Fall 2006 High Pollution Advisory for Particulate Matter for Wednesday, November 8

Carioca Corp. to Pay $80,000 for Dumping Contaminated Soil

PHOENIX (Nov. 21, 2006) -- Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that Phoenix-based Carioca Corporation will pay an $80,000 penalty for illegally disposing of gasoline-contaminated soil near a Carioca gas station in Prescott.

In October 2004, a contractor hired by Carioca to construct a car wash deposited contaminated soil at two different residential properties near the gas station rather than disposing of it according to environmental regulations. The soil was contaminated with benzene and gasoline.

The property owners, who intended to use the soil for home improvement projects, were unaware the soil was contaminated. One homeowner notified ADEQ after noticing the soil smelled like petroleum.

After receiving a Notice of Violation from ADEQ, Carioca removed the contaminated soil from the residential properties and disposed of it in a landfill approved for contaminated soil disposal. To settle the violations, Carioca has agreed to pay the State an $80,000 penalty.

&"This company placed a residential neighborhood in jeopardy by trying to dump contaminated soil rather than taking it to a designated landfill," Goddard said. "Fortunately, through the cooperative efforts of the homeowners and ADEQ, these violations were caught and corrected."

"The illegal disposal of contaminated soil put the health and safety of this community at risk," Owens said. "This irresponsible action could have had some very serious consequences for the local property owners, who fortunately contacted us for help."

The settlement is subject to court approval.

Back to the top of the page


ADEQ Issues High Pollution Advisory for Particulate Matter for Friday, November 17

PHOENIX (Nov. 16, 2006) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Friday, November 17, for the Phoenix metropolitan area due to forecast weather conditions expected to generate levels of coarse Particulate Matter 10 (PM10) or dust that could exceed unhealthy levels.

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 residents should reduce particulate matter-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.
  • Avoid activities that generate dust.

This is the second HPA issued for PM10 thus far during autumn 2006.

PM10 refers to particles that are 10 micrometers in diameter or smaller. Once inhaled, these particles can affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health effects, including increased respiratory symptoms, irritation of the airways, coughing, difficulty breathing, decreased lung function, aggravated asthma, development of chronic bronchitis, irregular heartbeat, nonfatal heart attacks, and premature death in people with heart or lung disease.

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

Back to the top of the page


Regulatory Review Council Approves ADEQ Regulations to Cut Toxic Mercury Emissions from Coal-Burning Power Plants

PHOENIX (Nov. 15, 2006) -- Regulations developed by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to dramatically reduce toxic mercury emissions from coal-burning power plants have been unanimously approved by the Governor's Regulatory Review Council, the state body required to review regulations of state agencies before they can become law.

ADEQ's mercury rule requires coal-burning power plants in Arizona to cut their mercury emissions by 90 percent by Dec. 31, 2013. The rule also requires consideration of new, less-polluting technologies on plants built in Arizona in the future.

"Mercury contamination caused by emissions from coal-burning power plants is a serious, growing problem for Arizona and across the country," ADEQ Director Steve Owens said. "This rule will help protect children and families in Arizona from exposure to harmful mercury contamination."

Mercury is a highly toxic substance that can be rapidly absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, leading to serious health effects including cardiovascular impacts, immune system and reproductive problems, adverse effects on the central nervous system, kidneys and liver, and even death. Infants, children and pregnant women are especially at increased risk for mercury toxicity. Mercury can cause IQ deficits and other neurological disorders in children as a result of fetal exposures.

Coal-burning power plants are the largest human-caused source of mercury emissions to the air in the United States, accounting for over 40 percent of all domestic human-caused mercury emissions.

Mercury emissions have contaminated a number of water bodies in Arizona. ADEQ has issued fish consumption advisories at ten lakes in Arizona because of mercury contamination, including Parker Canyon, Pena Blanca and Arivaca in southern Arizona; Alamo Lake, Upper and Lower Lake Mary, Soldier Lake, Soldier Annex, Long Lake in and Lyman Lake in northern Arizona.

Back to the top of the page


ADEQ Issues First Fall 2006 High Pollution Advisory for Particulate Matter for Wednesday, November 8

PHOENIX (Nov. 7, 2006) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Wednesday, November 8, for the Phoenix metropolitan area due to forecast weather conditions expected to generate levels of coarse Particulate Matter 10 (PM10) or dust that could exceed unhealthy levels.

"This is the first High Pollution Advisory for PM10 that we have issued this fall," ADEQ Director Steve Owens said. "We urge Valley residents to take steps to help reduce emissions that lead to the formation of particulate matter pollution."

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 PM10-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.
  • Avoid activities that generate dust.

PM10 refers to particles that are 10 micrometers in diameter or smaller, which are of concern because they generally pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs. Once inhaled, these particles can affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health effects, including increased respiratory symptoms, including irritation of the airways, coughing, difficulty breathing, decreased lung function, aggravated asthma, development of chronic bronchitis, irregular heartbeat, nonfatal heart attacks, and premature death in people with heart or lung disease.

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

Back to the top of the page

Back