Newsroom: Press Release Archive: April 2007
  • April 26, 2007: ADEQ Director Owens Announces $50,000 Grant to Wickenburg for Assessment of Brownfields Site
  • April 25, 2007: ADEQ Director Owens Announces $12,200 in Grants to Arizona Little League Teams to Promote Recycling
  • April 19, 2007: Attorney General Goddard and ADEQ Director Owens Announce ASARCO to Pay $77,500 Penalty for Air Quality Violations in Gila County
  • April 11, 2007: ADEQ Issues High Pollution Advisory for Particulate Matter for Thursday, April 12
  • April 9, 2007: ADEQ Supports Student Technology Recycling Program
  • April 6, 2007: ADEQ Director Owens Dedicates New Groundwater Treatment Facility at Superfund Site in Tucson
  • April 4, 2007: Attorney General Goddard and ADEQ Director Owens Announce $40,000 Penalty for Hazardous Waste Violations by Trendwood, Inc. in South Phoenix
  • April 2, 2007: Emission Test Exemptions Expanded to Collectible Vehicles and Motorcycles

ADEQ Director Owens Announces $50,000 Grant to Wickenburg for Assessment of Brownfields Site

PHOENIX (April 26, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ is awarding a $50,000 Brownfields grant to the City of Wickenburg in Maricopa County to help redevelop a 44-acre former municipal solid waste landfill site.

The city-owned site is located at the northwest quarter of Section 8 of Township 7 North, Range 5 West of the Gila and Salt River Base and Meridian in Wickenburg, Arizona. Closed in 1998, it was used for disposal of municipal solid waste. Since the closing, the site has been used to store construction materials, for the temporary storage of large home appliances for recycling, and for green plant materials that are shredded for landfill cover.

The ADEQ grant is for a modified Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, which will allow Wickenburg to weigh options for how to use the site. Possible uses include a firefighter training area, a business or desert park, or expanding the adjacent airport facilities.

"This landfill has been a blight to the City for some time," Owens said. "We are pleased to support Wickenburg's efforts to put this property back into productive economic use for the community. Our Brownfields program reduces environmental hazards and makes it possible to put these properties to work once again."

A Brownfields site is an abandoned or under-used property with an active redevelopment potential that suffers from known or perceived environmental contamination.

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces $12,200 in Grants to Arizona Little League Teams to Promote Recycling

PHOENIX (April 25, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ has awarded a total of $12,200 to 23 Arizona Little League teams to promote recycling and prevent littering at baseball fields across the state.

Under the Recycling and Litter Control Program, ADEQ is providing Little League teams throughout Arizona with funds for banners promoting recycling to be displayed on outfield fences and backstops at their ball fields, and for containers for plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and other recyclable materials at the fields.

"This project has proved itself a great way to involve young people in recycling, promote ADEQ's recycling efforts and help keep ball fields clean," said Owens. "Little League recycling grants are a grand slam."

ADEQ began its Little League recycling program in 2005."This program has been a great success," Owens said.

This season's participating Little Leagues by county are:

  • Cochise: Valley
  • Coconino: Mt. Elden
  • Maricopa: Diamond Back, Goodyear, Holiday Park, McDowell Mountain, Mesa American, Royal Palm Orangewood, Tempe Guadalupe, Tempe Rio Salado, Thunderbird, Village Meadows
  • Navajo: Holbrook, Pinetop-Lakeside Blue Ridge, Winslow
  • Pima: Altar Valley, Freedom, Los Ninos, Sunnyside, Tanque Verde
  • Pinal: Florence
  • Yavapai: Verde Valley, Bagdad

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Attorney General Goddard and ADEQ Director Owens Announce ASARCO to Pay $77,500 Penalty for Air Quality Violations in Gila County

PHOENIX (April 19, 2007) -- Attorney General Terry Goddard and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that ASARCO, Inc. will pay a $77,500 penalty under a consent judgment with ADEQ for air quality violations in Gila County.

In September 2005, ADEQ inspectors discovered that loose tailing dust had collected throughout the mine's tailing pond area and witnessed fugitive dust emissions from the Hayden Mill facility, a violation of ASARCO's air quality permit. ADEQ issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to ASARCO in October 2005, which required the company to keep the tailing pond area damp or encrusted to minimize fugitive dust emissions. Under the NOV, ASARCO has applied a dust suppressant designed to control future dust problems at the site.

The ASARCO-Hayden Mill facility mainly produces copper with some production of sulfuric acid for use in the mineral extraction process. This settlement resolves the fugitive dust violations at the facility from 2005 and 2006. The fugitive dust emissions caused an exceedance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for particulate matter in January of 2006.

"Production of dust from the mine site can cause respiratory and other health problems," Goddard said. "ASARCO and other dust emitting industries are required to maintain these types of tailing ponds to protect Arizonans health and welfare. When they don't, they must face the consequences."

"ASARCO must operate its facility in accordance with the law and ensure that its tailings do not become airborne and present a risk for citizens who live near this facility," Owens said.

The consent judgment is subject to court approval.

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ADEQ Issues High Pollution Advisory for Particulate Matter for Thursday, April 12

PHOENIX (April 11, 2007) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Thursday, April 12 for the Phoenix metropolitan area due to forecast weather conditions which are expected to generate levels of coarse Particulate Matter 10 (PM10) or dust that could exceed unhealthy levels.

The HPA is being issued for Thursday because high winds combined with dry conditions are expected to result in unhealthy levels of airborne PM10 particles. It is the first HPA issued for 2007.

"We are anticipating that high winds will kick up a substantial amount of dust, leading to unhealthy conditions," said ADEQ Director Steve Owens.

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. 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, telecommute and/or reduce driving.
  • Avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
  • Avoid activities that generate dust, such as driving on dirt roads.
  • Stabilize loose soils.
  • Eliminate fireplace and wood stove use.

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.

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ADEQ Supports Student Technology Recycling Program

PHOENIX (April 9, 2007) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is helping to promote Computer Recycle Days, Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21, when technology users can recycle old equipment at nine Valley locations.

The nonprofit Arizona Students Recycling Used Technology (AZStRUT) Program allows users to dispose of old computers, computer components, hard drives, monitors, mice, printers, scanners, cables and cellphones in a way that benefits schools and non-profit organizations throughout Arizona.

"With the decreasing life cycle of electronic equipment, programs like AZStRUT have become essential," said ADEQ Director Steve Owens. "AZStRUT takes components with potentially harmful contaminants out of the waste stream, performs a valuable educational service, and gives old equipment useful new lives."

AZStRUT helps students learn new skills by refurbishing the donated equipment and then in turn donating the rebuilt items to local schools and non-profit organizations.

This is the seventh consecutive year ADEQ and AZStRUT have worked together to help reduce the burden on landfills.

Donations may be tax deductible, and tax slips will be available at all recycling locations:

Friday, April 20, 3-7 p.m.:

Scottsdale: Best Buy, Indian Bend & Loop 101

Saturday, April 21, 8 a.m. - noon:

Chandler: Basha High School, 5990 S. Val Vista Road
Gilbert: Gilbert High School, 1101 E. Elliot Road
Glendale: ASU West, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road
Phoenix: The Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway
Mesa: Mesa High School, 1630 E. Southern Ave.
Surprise: APS Service Center, 16800 N. Dysart Road
Tempe: Tempe High School, 1730 S. Mill Ave.
Valleywide: All Data Doctors Stores, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. For locations: www.datadoctors.com.

More information can be found online at www.azstrut.org .

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ADEQ Director Owens Dedicates New Groundwater Treatment Facility at Superfund Site in Tucson

PHOENIX (April 6, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens and officials from the Flowing Wells Irrigation District today hosted a dedication ceremony and tour of an innovative new groundwater treatment facility on the west side of Tucson.

The facility, known as a dual treatment facility, will remove arsenic and volatile organic compounds from groundwater that is pumped from two Flowing Wells Irrigation District wells. It is the first dual treatment facility funded jointly by ADEQ and the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona (WIFA).

"This new facility ensures that the treated water meets the new, stricter standards for arsenic in drinking water, and also ensures that the drinking water is free of contamination from volatile organic chemicals," Owens told officials, staff and residents who came to tour the facility at 1602 West Roger Road in Tucson. "Protecting precious drinking water supplies is a top priority for ADEQ."

ADEQ paid $450,000 through the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF), the state Superfund program, to design and install a system to remove volatile organic compounds such as trichloroethene (TCE). "This new treatment system means the water from Flowing Wells will be safe to drink while ADEQ completes the groundwater cleanup in the area," Owens said. "It's a great example of a successful partnership between ADEQ, WIFA and the Flowing Wells Irrigation District."

The new 900 gallon-per-minute groundwater treatment facility, located at the existing Roger Road pumping and storage site, was installed by Flowing Wells Irrigation District (FWID) to meet stronger federal standards for arsenic. FWID funded the construction operation and maintenance portion of the system, which removes arsenic from the groundwater, with a $966,600 low-interest loan from WIFA.

The arsenic treatment portion of the project was recently honored with EPA's 2006 Aquarius Award for the innovative use of their State Revolving Fund program for sustainable public health protection. The collaborative project has been nominated by the Arizona Water Infrastructure Finance Authority for furthering the goals of the Drinking Water Act through exceptional planning, management and financing.

The Flowing Wells Irrigation District serves about 15,000 customers.

The project is part of ADEQ's cleanup at the Miracle Mile Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF) Site. The state Superfund program, known as WQARF, identifies and cleans up areas with contaminated soil and groundwater across the state.

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Attorney General Goddard and ADEQ Director Owens Announce $40,000 Penalty for Hazardous Waste Violations by Trendwood, Inc. in South Phoenix

PHOENIX (April 4, 2007) -- Attorney General Terry Goddard and ADEQ Director Steve Owens today announced that Trendwood, Inc. has agreed to a $40,000 penalty for hazardous waste violations at the company's South Phoenix facilities.

Trendwood, Inc. is a wood furniture manufacturer based in south Phoenix with locations at 2402 S. 15th Avenue and 261 E. University.

"Hazardous waste violations that put employees or nearby residents at risk are unacceptable," said ADEQ Director Owens.

"These violations created significant safety risks," Attorney General Goddard said. "The fact that they are longstanding makes them all the more serious."

ADEQ conducted inspections of both facilities following two fires in April 2001 at the South Phoenix facility. The fires resulted from improper handling and disposal of filters that were saturated with a nitrocellulose-containing stain. The waste burst into flames inside an improper disposal unit. After the first fire, on April 15, the Phoenix Fire Prevention Unit ordered the company to stop putting waste in dumpsters and to contact ADEQ for assistance on proper handling and disposal. The company failed to do as ordered by Phoenix Fire, and the second fire occurred April 29.

Following the inspections, ADEQ issued two Notices of Violation to Trendwood for failure to perform waste determinations, failure to prevent fires and disposal of hazardous waste without a permit. Trendwood stored unlabeled hazardous waste near an outside break area for employees, and failed to take appropriate precautions to prevent a fire at their facility. Further, the company had been improperly disposing of hazardous waste for several years.

The consent judgment is subject to court approval.

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Emission Test Exemptions Expanded to Collectible Vehicles and Motorcycles

PHOENIX (April 2, 2007) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the Arizona Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Division (ADOT/MVD) today announced that collectible vehicles registered in Phoenix and Tucson testing areas will be exempt from emission tests. Motorcycles registered in the Tucson testing area will also be exempt.

The exemption begins with April 2007 vehicle registration renewals under a plan recently approved the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA studies show that exempting such vehicles from the emission testing program would not interfere with meeting and maintaining health-based standards for ozone and carbon monoxide, and would present no significant degradation of air quality.

"We are pleased that EPA has approved our request to exempt collectible vehicle owners and motorcycle riders from the emissions inspection requirement," said ADEQ Director Steve Owens. "These vehicles are not harming our air quality, so their exemption is well-deserved."

"MVD welcomes this opportunity to work with the EPA, ADEQ and the insurance industry so that collectible vehicle registrations can renew quickly and easily online at www.ServiceArizona.com ," said MVD Director Stacey K. Stanton.

The new regulation requires that owners of collectible vehicles carry special collectible vehicle insurance. Arizona insurance companies must report the special coverage to MVD electronically before the registration renewal - with emissions exemption - can occur.

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