Newsroom: Press Release Archive: October 2006
  • Oct. 30, 2006: ADEQ Director Owens Announces Draft Air Quality Permit for BHP Copper Mine near Miami in Gila County
  • Oct. 26, 2006: Arizona Portland Cement Company to Pay $300,000 for Air Quality Violations in Pima County
  • Oct. 25, 2006: ADEQ Director Steve Owens Announces 2007 Recycling Scholarship Program for High School Seniors
  • Oct. 23, 2006: ADEQ to Co-Host Brownfields Grant Workshops
  • Oct. 18, 2006: ADEQ Conducts Cleanup of Illegal Dump Site in Yavapai County
  • Oct. 17, 2006: ADEQ Director Owens Announces $3.2 Million in Grants to Fund Low Emission School Buses in 11 School Districts
  • Oct. 16, 2006: ADEQ Offering Grants for Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Collection Projects

ADEQ Director Owens Announces Draft Air Quality Permit for BHP Copper Mine near Miami in Gila County

PHOENIX (Oct. 30, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ has issued a draft air quality permit for the BHP Copper mine near Miami in Gila County.

The proposed permit will regulate emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds and sulfur dioxide from the open-pit copper mine, associated crushing equipment, leach pad, extraction facility, and electrowinning operations.

"The draft permit will protect air quality in the area, while enabling BHP to continue moving forward toward re-opening the mine and creating much-needed jobs in the Miami area," Director Owens said.

The draft permit is subject to public review and comment before it can be finalized. The public comment period for the proposed permit will last through November 8. A public hearing will be held on Wednesday, November 8 at the Town of Miami Council Chambers, 500 Sullivan Street in Miami at 6:30 p.m. where anyone wishing to speak on the draft permit can do so.

Anyone wishing to provide written comments on the draft permit can submit them at the public hearing or mail them to: Director, Air Quality Division, ADEQ, 1110 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007. Mailed comments must be received by November 8.

After the public comment period closes, ADEQ will review and respond to all comments and, if needed, make any changes to the permit based on public input.

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.

A copy of the draft permit is available at the Town of Miami Clerk's Office, 500 Sullivan Street, Miami, AZ 85539.

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Arizona Portland Cement Company to Pay $300,000 for Air Quality Violations in Pima County

PHOENIX (Oct. 26, 2006) -- Attorney General Terry Goddard and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced a settlement agreement with Arizona Portland Cement Company that requires the company to pay a $300,000 penalty for violating Arizona's air quality laws.

"I am committed to enforcing vigorously our environmental laws and ensuring that our citizens have clean air to breathe," Goddard said. "Industries that release hazardous air pollutants substantially above the permitted limits will face significant consequences."

"These are very toxic air pollutants," said Owens. "The substantial penalty reflects the seriousness of the violations."

The settlement results from violations of state and federal regulations governing emission of hazardous air pollutants, failure to submit test reports from the company's manufacturing plant, failure to install required temperature monitors by the required regulatory deadline and failure to submit required compliance certification reports. ADEQ issued seven notices of violation to the company in 2003-2004 for not following the law.

The settlement requires the company to:

  • Pay $300,000 in civil penalties.
  • Conduct annual performance tests to monitor hazardous air pollutant emissions.
  • Take steps to assess raw materials used in the manufacturing process to ensure no future violations of air pollutant limits.
  • Improve air quality in the neighboring community of Rillito by applying dust suppressants to an unpaved community road, installing a heating, cooling, ventilation system and air purifiers in a Rillito Community Center, and offering air purifiers to local Rillito residents.

Arizona Portland Cement, a division of California Portland Cement Company, makes cement in Rillito, Ariz., just west of Tucson. The settlement is subject to court approval.

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ADEQ Director Steve Owens Announces 2007 Recycling Scholarship Program for High School Seniors

PHOENIX (Oct. 25, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ is encouraging Arizona high school seniors interested in environmental issues to apply for the 2007 Arizona Recycling Scholarship Program.

Under the Recycling Scholarship Program, ADEQ will award 10 scholarships of $1,000 each to high school seniors to be used for expenses at a college or university in Arizona. To apply, students will submit a proposal outlining a waste reduction or recycling project in their school or community to be implemented during March 2007. All Arizona high school students in their senior year are eligible to apply for the scholarship. The 10 scholarship recipients will be selected by ADEQ based on the proposals submitted.

"This is a very exciting program that encourages Arizona students to think about ways to protect the environment while helping them meet the escalating costs of college," Owens said. "We began the program on a pilot basis in 2006, and we are expanding it for 2007 because of the level of interest among students and the high quality of the proposals we saw last year."

Owens said ADEQ developed the scholarship program to encourage school recycling activities throughout the state and get high school students involved in protecting the environment. Funding for the scholarship program will come through the ADEQ Recycling Grant Program. "This is a great way for high school seniors to help protect the environment and pay for college," Owens said.

Proposals must be received by ADEQ no later than Jan. 19, 2007 and the scholarship winners will be announced during February 2007. The winning projects will be implemented during March 2007. ADEQ will provide scholarship funds to the students after receiving proof of enrollment at a community college or university within the state of Arizona.

The scholarship package and informational materials will be sent to every high school in Arizona and also are available on our Web site.

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ADEQ to Co-Host Brownfields Grant Workshops

PHOENIX (Oct. 23, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ will co-host four Federal Brownfields Grant Funding workshops with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) around the state.

The Brownfields grants provide financial resources to assist in the return of contaminated and potentially contaminated properties back to productive reuse, spurring economic revitalization and growth at these underutilized and blighted properties.

These workshops, for local communities interested in applying for Federal Brownfields Program Assessment, Cleanup or Revolving Loan Fund grants, focus on helping participants understand the basic elements of the grant program, the process for submitting grant proposals, the required proposal elements and improving the success rate of submitted proposals.

"Helping local communities learn about the brownfields grants and how to obtain them is fundamental to revitalizing contaminated properties and putting them back into productive economic use," said Owens.

The workshops are free and open to the public. Registration or attendance notification is not required.

The workshops will be held at:

  • Holbrook: October 25, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m., City Council Chambers, 465 1st Avenue
  • Phoenix: October 27, 10 a.m. - noon, ADEQ, Conference Room 250, 1110 W. Washington Street

  • Lake Havasu City: October 31, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m., Mohave County Library at Lake Havasu City, Executive Conference Room, 1770 N. McCulloch Boulevard
  • Tucson: November 1, 10 a.m. - noon, Arizona Department of Water Resources, 5th Floor Conference Room, State Office Building, 400 W. Congress

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ADEQ Conducts Cleanup of Illegal Dump Site in Yavapai County

PHOENIX (Oct. 18, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced that ADEQ will join with Yavapai County officials and local citizens to clean up an illegal dump site in Ash Fork in Yavapai County.

On Saturday, October 21, ADEQ will partner with Yavapai County Development Services staff and volunteers from the Ash Fork Community Development Association to remove trash from property located on Third Street between Lewis and Park Avenues in Ash Fork.

The property has been used as an illegal dumping site for several years. Approximately 50 tons of trash, including discarded appliances, tires and household waste, will be removed and transported to a permitted solid waste landfill.

"Illegal dumping poses a threat to public health, wildlife and property values," said Owens. "ADEQ is pleased to be part of a project that will help preserve the community's precious natural resources by cleaning up this property."

Owens added that the Ash Fork cleanup is part of ADEQ's ongoing effort to address the problem of illegal dumping throughout Arizona. ADEQ has established a program to work with local officials to prevent illegal dumping and clean up illegal dump sites. "Dealing with the problem of illegal dumping is a priority," Owens said.

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces $3.2 Million in Grants to Fund Low Emission School Buses in 11 School Districts

PHOENIX (Oct. 17, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that 11 school districts in the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas have been awarded 15 grants totaling $3,177,000 under ADEQ's Diesel School Bus Grant Program to reduce children's exposure to harmful diesel emissions.

The new ADEQ program reduces children's exposure to toxic diesel emissions by partnering with local school districts to obtain less-polluting school buses and other pollution control equipment.

School districts eligible for the grants must be located within either the metro Phoenix or metro Tucson areas and participate in ADEQ's voluntary School Bus Idling Program, under which school districts reduce diesel emissions by limiting bus idling near schools. The School Bus Idling program includes 144 districts around the state, representing every county in Arizona.

Under the Diesel School Bus Grant Program, Arizona school districts are eligible for grants up to $35,000 towards the purchase of a new compressed natural gas-powered (CNG) school bus; up to $15,000 towards the purchase of a new school bus equipped to run on ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel and equipped with a diesel particulate filter; and up to $8,000 to retrofit used school buses to run on ULSD with diesel particulate filters.

"This is a win-win program that will protect children from exposure to harmful diesel emissions while helping school districts afford new school buses and technology," said Owens. "We are pleased to partner with these school districts in this very important effort."

The grant awards are:

Compressed Natural Gas Bus Purchases Total Grants $525,000
Tucson Unified School District $385,000 towards the purchase of 11 CNG buses
Continental Elementary School District $140,000 towards the purchase of four CNG buses

Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel Bus Purchases Total Grants $1,350,000
Tucson Unified School District $630,000 towards the purchase of 42 ULSD buses
Chandler Unified School District #80 $480,000 towards the purchase of 32 ULSD buses
Phoenix Union High School $240,000 towards the purchase of 16 ULSD buses

Diesel Particulate Filter Purchases Total Grants $1,302,000
Tucson Unified School District$354,144
Scottsdale Unified School District $269,514
Glendale Union High School District $177,072
Gilbert Unified School District #41 $149,730
Cave Creek Unified School District $ 91,140
Amphitheater Public Schools $ 82,026
Chandler Unified School District #80 $ 76,818
Agua Fria Union High School District #216 $ 57,288
Phoenix Elementary School District #1 $ 31,248
Continental Elementary School District $ 13,020

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ADEQ Offering Grants for Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Collection Projects

PHOENIX (Oct. 16, 2006) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ is accepting grant applications from political subdivisions and tribal governments that serve communities in Arizona for projects to provide household hazardous waste and electronics collection events to local communities.

Approximately $450,000 is available through the ADEQ Recycling Program for multiple awards.

Household hazardous waste may include certain paints, cleaners, stains and varnishes, car batteries, motor oil and pesticides. Electronic equipment may include computers, cell phones, pagers and other audio or video equipment. Collection projects may be continuous or one-day events.

"As the life cycle of electronic equipment decreases, it's very important to recycle this equipment and its components as much as possible to help ease the burden to the state's landfills," said Director Owens. "These grant programs work hand in hand to help achieve important environmental and safety goals."

The average home can generate as much as 100 pounds of household hazardous waste, which can pose a risk to people and the environment unless it is properly disposed of. Arizona families also have increasing numbers of electronic equipment and devices that are discarded.

The deadline for grant applications is Wednesday, November 15 at 3 p.m. Applications chosen for award will be announced by December 15, 2006.

ADEQ is holding a grant workshop to answer questions concerning the grant application process at 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 19 at ADEQ, 1110 W. Washington St., Room #250, Phoenix.

More information, including guidelines on how to apply, is available on the ADEQ Web site here.

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