Newsroom: Press Release Archive: June 2007
  • June 29, 2007: ADEQ Issues Tough Water Quality Permit for Phelps Dodge Sierrita Mine near Green Valley
  • June 25, 2007: ADEQ Director Steve Owens Issues Statement on Today's U.S. Supreme Court Decision Upholding Arizona's Water Quality Permitting Program
  • June 25, 2007: ADEQ Director Steve Owens Awards $32,000 Water Quality Improvement Grant to Pinetop-Lakeside to Reduce Pollution in Rainbow Lake
  • June 22, 2007: ADEQ Director Steve Owens Announces $176,150 in Grants to the Gila Watershed Partnership to Remove Abandoned Vehicles in Graham County
  • June 22, 2007: ADEQ Director Owens Awards $54,978 Grant for Water Quality Improvement Project at Lakeside Lake in Tucson
  • June 22, 2007: ADEQ Director Steve Owens Awards $345,100 in Grants for Water Quality Improvement Projects in Greenlee County
  • June 22, 2007: ADEQ Director Steve Owens Awards $582,253 in Grants to Help Protect the Watson Woods Riparian Preserve and Granite Creek in Yavapai County
  • June 22, 2007: ADEQ Director Steve Owens Announces $101,509.92 in Grants to Increase Recycling in Graham County
  • June 21, 2007: ADEQ Director Steve Owens Announces $88,626 in Recycling Grants for City of Winslow
  • June 19, 2007: ADEQ Cites Valle Verde Water Company for Drinking Water Quality Violations in Santa Cruz County
  • June 14, 2007: ADEQ Director Owens Awards $114,950 Grant for Water Quality Improvement Project in Cochise County
  • June 11, 2007: ADEQ Director Owens Announces $27,500 in Community Recycling Grants for Bullhead City in Mohave County
  • June 8, 2007: ADEQ Director Owens Announces $367,103 in Community Recycling Grants for Peoria and Litchfield Park
  • June 8, 2007: ADEQ Director Owens Announces $78,000 in Community Recycling Grants for Tucson
  • June 8, 2007: ADEQ Director Owens Announces $145,019 in Community Recycling Grants for Arizona State University and Mesa Community College
  • June 8, 2007: ADEQ Director Owens Announces $60,000 Community Recycling Grants for Cochise County
  • June 6, 2007: ADEQ Director Owens Announces Over $208,000 in Recycling Grants for Phoenix Public Works Department
  • June 6, 2007: ADEQ Director Owens Announces $10,000 Community Recycling Grant for Town of Quartzsite in La Paz County
  • June 5, 2007: ADEQ Issues High Pollution Advisory for Particulate Matter for Wednesday, June 6
  • June 4, 2007: ADEQ Director Steve Owens Announces New Director for Office of Border Environmental Protection in Tucson (en Español)

ADEQ Issues Tough Water Quality Permit for Phelps Dodge Sierrita Mine near Green Valley

PHOENIX (June 29, 2007) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality today formally issued the water quality permit for the Phelps Dodge Sierrita copper mine near Green Valley in Pima County.

The permit, known as an Aquifer Protection Permit (APP), provides tough, new protections for groundwater in the area and incorporates the requirements of the precedent-setting Consent Order that ADEQ issued in June 2006, which requires Phelps Dodge to protect the community's drinking water supply from sulfate contamination. The APP incorporates the 250 part-per-million (ppm) limit set forth in the Consent Order for sulfate in drinking water affected by the mine's operations. This is the toughest sulfate level that ADEQ has ever included in a water quality permit.

Elevated sulfate levels attributable to the Phelps Dodge mine have been identified in groundwater samples collected from wells in the area. Although sulfate is considered a non-hazardous substance under federal and state law, ingestion of water containing levels of sulfate exceeding 250 ppm can cause diarrhea and other health problems.

In addition to the tough sulfate limits, the permit requires controls to reduce pollutants discharged at the mine, including metals such as arsenic, copper, chromium, selenium and lead, as well as nitrate, benzene, and radiochemicals such as gross alpha particle activity, radium-226 and radium-228. The permit requires Phelps Dodge to employ pollution controls at all of the mine's discharging facilities, including three major drainage areas at the mine, at discharging facilities in the mill area and tailings impoundments, and at wash stations used to clean trucks and other vehicles.

The permit also requires Phelps Dodge to maintain about $18 million dollars in financial assurance. This is up from $4 million in the draft permit and is the highest financial assurance ever imposed in Arizona.

The Order requires Phelps Dodge to characterize and mitigate the sulfate plume, conduct an inventory of wells in the area and ensure that drinking water provided to area residents meets all applicable drinking water standards, including the 250 ppm sulfate limit established in the permit.

The Consent Order also requires Phelps Dodge to conduct quarterly water quality sampling and establish a Community Advisory Group to keep community members informed of the company's activities. The provisions of the Consent Order now become part of the conditions of the permit.

"This is a very protective permit that, coupled with the ground-breaking Consent Order we issued last year, will ensure that the community's drinking water supply is safe," ADEQ Director Steve Owens said.

Final Phelps Dodge Sierrita Aquifer Protection Permit
Final Phelps Dodge Sierrita Fact Sheet
Final Phelps Dodge Sierrita Summary and Response to Public Comments

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ADEQ Director Steve Owens Issues Statement on Today's U.S. Supreme Court Decision Upholding Arizona's Water Quality Permitting Program

PHOENIX (June 25, 2007) -- Today the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the authority of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to operate the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Program on the state level.

ADEQ Director Steve Owens issued this statement:

"From the beginning we have operated our state program in accordance with the Clean Water Act. Our state program provides adequate protection for endangered species, and we have always been confident that our program would be upheld in court. We are pleased with today's decision and will now be able to move forward to administer our program to preserve Arizona's precious water resources without being under a cloud of litigation."

Arizona has administered the Arizona Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (AZPDES) program since December 2002 under a delegation agreement with EPA. In early 2003 ADEQ's authority to administer the program was challenged by Defenders of Wildlife in Federal Court. Today's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court upheld ADEQ's authority to administer the program.

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ADEQ Director Steve Owens Awards $32,000 Water Quality Improvement Grant to Pinetop-Lakeside to Reduce Pollution in Rainbow Lake

PHOENIX (June 25, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that the department has awarded a $32,000 water quality improvement grant to the Town of Pinetop-Lake to help reduce pollution in Rainbow Lake.

Rainbow Lake is a 125-acre man-made lake on Walnut Creek, located off Highway 260 in Pinetop-Lakeside in the Silver Creek sub-watershed of the Little Colorado watershed. The Lake is overgrown with algae fed by soil containing animal waste and fertilizer that has been running off from surrounding lands. The town will plant buffer strips of vegetation to help prevent runoff from reaching the lake. The Show Low Creek Watershed Enhancement Partnership, a local watershed group, will serve as project manager for the effort.

"Rainbow Lake is a point of pride for the Pinetop-Lakeside community - and for White Mountain residents in general," Director Owens said. "Families throughout the White Mountains rely on the Lake for fishing, boating and other recreational activities. We are committed to working with the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside, the Show Low Creek Watershed Enhancement Partnership and concerned citizens to stop the runoff into the Lake and improve the water quality in it."

Owens added that ADEQ also is working with the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside to develop longer-term strategies for improving conditions in Rainbow Lake.

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

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ADEQ Director Steve Owens Announces $176,150 in Grants to the Gila Watershed Partnership to Remove Abandoned Vehicles in Graham County

PHOENIX (June 22, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ has awarded $176,150 from two separate grant programs to the Gila Watershed Partnership to address the problem of abandoned vehicles in Graham County.

The Partnership is receiving a $99,000 grant from ADEQ's recycling program to help deal with and clean up 120 tons of abandoned automobiles in Graham County. The Partnership also is receiving a $77,150 water quality improvement grant from ADEQ to remove 400 abandoned vehicles from washes along the Gila River in the county. The Partnership will use the funds to identify abandoned vehicles, obtain titles, tow the vehicles to a salvage yard, remove hazardous fluids and parts containing hazardous material and hire a salvage company to crush and recycle the metal. The Partnership will work with Graham County and the City of Safford on the projects.

"Old abandoned vehicles are a huge problem in Graham County," Director Owens said. "We have been working closely with the Gila Watershed Partnership and local officials over the last several years to fight illegal dumping, remove junk vehicles and reduce the threats they present to the community."

Owens noted that the Gila Watershed Partnership has received water quality improvement grants in the past from ADEQ for various projects, but this is first time the Partnership has received funding from ADEQ's recycling program. "This is a great way to use our resources to help the community deal with the problem of abandoned vehicles and illegal dumping, as well as promote recycling of the parts and materials in the vehicles. Combining the money from these two separate programs to address this problem helps maximize the impact of the grants and support the terrific work of the Partnership and the local officials to the greatest extent possible."

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ADEQ Director Owens Awards $54,978 Grant for Water Quality Improvement Project at Lakeside Lake in Tucson

PHOENIX (June 22, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that the department has awarded a $54,978 grant to fund water quality improvement in Pima County.

The grant, to the City of Tucson's Parks and Recreation Department, will improve fishing and other recreation at the city's Lakeside Lake, located at Lakeside Park in Tucson. The lake was originally built as a stormwater retention basin, then converted for recreational fishing in 1985. It receives water from stormwater runoff, groundwater and reclaimed water from the Roger Road Wastewater Treatment Plant. An ADEQ water quality study completed in 2005 showed the lake has excessive levels of ammonia; high levels of phosphorus, a nutrient that causes algae growth; and low dissolved oxygen levels due to algae growth.

Under the grant, the city will improve water quality in the lake by reducing drainage from surrounding park lands into the lake, providing bait disposal locations for people who fish, and occasionally treating the lake with alum, a chemical that will help reduce algae growth. The city will also remove debris from the lake and surrounding park.

"These funds will help protect water quality in Lakeside Lake," 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 Steve Owens Awards $345,100 in Grants for Water Quality Improvement Projects in Greenlee County

PHOENIX (June 22, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that the department has awarded $345,100 in grants to improve water quality in Greenlee County.

The Valley Canal Company of Duncan will receive a $250,000 grant to rebuild segments of the disintegrating 42-year-old Valley Canal, located along the Gila River. The canal, which was constructed in 1965, is no longer strong enough to contain the water flowing through it without breaking, causing concentrated flows that pick up sediment and carry it to the river. Additionally, sediment from banks above the canal becomes trapped in it. Damage to the canal accounts for the erosion of 270,000 tons of soil annually, 70 percent of which reaches the river.

"This project is an extremely important step for protecting the local watershed," Director Owens said. "Replacement of the canal is absolutely essential to reverse the erosion that has been occurring and reduce the amount of sediment that reaches the Gila River."

ADEQ also is awarding a grant for $95,100 to the Coronado Resource Conservation and Development Council (CRCDC), a nonprofit organization that assists local communities to improve their use of natural resources. Owens said that the CRCDC will use the funding to prevent erosion on 161,172 acres of grazing land located within the Eagle Creek Watershed and primarily leased from the U.S. Forest Service. The CRCDC will work with local ranchers to install 5.5 miles of fences on the Double Circles Ranch, located near Morenci, as part of a rotational grazing system that will prevent soil runoff into Eagle Creek.

The grant to the CRCDC is for Phase II of a project begun in 2006. Last year ADEQ awarded a grant for $360,930 to the Upper Eagle Creek Watershed Association for a variety of actions to prevent run-off into Eagle Creek, including fencing, alternative grazing practices and alternative water sources for livestock.

"Protecting Eagle Creek is a very high priority," Owens said. "This is a great partnership among ranchers, concerned citizens and local officials, and we are pleased to support this important effort."

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

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ADEQ Director Steve Owens Awards $582,253 in Grants to Help Protect the Watson Woods Riparian Preserve and Granite Creek in Yavapai County

PHOENIX (June 22, 2007) --Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that the department has awarded two grants totaling $582,253 to the Prescott Creeks Preservation Association to fund water quality improvement projects to help protect the Watson Woods Riparian Preserve and Granite Creek near Prescott in Yavapai County.

"The Watson Woods Riparian Preserve is an extraordinary place, and Granite Creek is one of the most important water resources in our state," Director Owens said. "We are very pleased to support the great work being done to protect these critically important areas."

The Association is receiving a $483,191 grant to protect the Watson Woods Riparian Preserve, a cottonwood/red willow forest area located along Granite Creek. The 126-acre preserve is all that remains of an area that once was a 1,000-acre stretch of unbroken forest. The Association will plant vegetation, create wetlands and stabilize channels to reduce erosion and redirect and filter stormwater runoff into Granite Creek, which flows into the preserve. The Association will also implement best management practices for protecting the riparian area from pollution, as well as conduct community outreach and public education.

The association also is receiving an additional grant for $99,062 for the second phase of the Granite Creek Watershed Water Quality Improvement and Monitoring Program, a series of improvements being made downstream from Granite Creek to restore the stability of the Creek stream channel. The Association received $217,982 from ADEQ in 2006 for phase one of the Program to construct a stormwater runoff basin, develop best management practices for ranching and activities along the riparian area, monitor the creek for metals and bacteria and label storm drains with stenciling to keep the public from dumping waste in the drains and contaminating the creek. The improvements will benefit both Granite Creek and Watson Lake, both of which are impaired for excess nutrients and low dissolved oxygen, due to sediments from runoff and other sources.

The grants are funded with federal dollars provided to ADEQ under the Clean Water Act.

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ADEQ Director Steve Owens Announces $101,509.92 in Grants to Increase Recycling in Graham County

PHOENIX (June 22, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ has awarded $101,509.92 to fund two projects by the Graham County Rehabilitation Center in Safford to help increase recycling in Graham County.

ADEQ is awarding a grant for $79,309.92 to the Center to expand recycling in the Safford area to cover newspaper, plastics and electronics. The Center will use the funding to purchase bailers, material collection boxes and bins and a lift gate addition to the existing forklift and truck. The grant is part of ADEQ's Waste Reduction Assistance (WRA) grants program, which funds projects devoted to waste reduction, recycling and composting. The Center will partner with the City of Safford to distribute recycling fliers to residents.

The Center also is receiving a second grant from ADEQ for $22,200 to buy radio advertisements to encourage residents to recycle. 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 increases awareness of proper solid waste disposal techniques.

"Recycling is one of our most effective tools to protect our environment, and with the Safford area growing so quickly, it is important to expand recycling there as much as we can as fast as we can," Owens said. "We are glad to provide these two grants to support these important efforts to increase recycling in Graham County."

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ADEQ Director Steve Owens Announces $88,626 in Recycling Grants for City of Winslow

PHOENIX (June 21, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ has awarded two grants totaling $88,626 to the City of Winslow to fund recycling projects in Navajo County.

Winslow will receive one grant for $69,626 to expand the existing drop-off recycling program by purchasing three additional collection trailers for the program. The grant is part of ADEQ's Waste Reduction Assistance (WRA) grants program, which funds projects devoted to waste reduction, recycling and composting.

Winslow also will receive a second grant for $19,000 to promote recycling through school presentations, brochures, site signs, trailer labels, water bill inserts, newspaper ads and the city Web site. Funds will also provide a stipend to teachers for contribution of educational curriculum for students.

The 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 increases awareness of proper solid waste disposal techniques.

"Winslow already has a terrific recycling program, and these grants will help the city do even more," Director Owens said. "Recycling is one of our most effective tools to protect our environment, and we are glad to continue to support Winslow's efforts to increase recycling in Arizona."

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ADEQ Cites Valle Verde Water Company for Drinking Water Quality Violations in Santa Cruz County

PHOENIX (June 19, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ has issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to Valle Verde Water Company for a series of drinking water quality violations in Santa Cruz County.

ADEQ cited the Valle Verde Water Company for failing to conduct mandatory water quality monitoring, installing portions of a drinking water system without the required permits, serving drinking water to customers in excess of standards, and failing to notify customers of pollutant levels in excess of drinking water standards.

Valle Verde Water Company has served drinking water tainted with tetrachloroethylene, also known as PCE, to customers. PCE is an industrial solvent, often used in dry cleaning. Consumption of PCE tainted drinking water over many years could cause liver problems and may increase a person's cancer risk. ADEQ has initiated a health consultation with the Arizona Department of Health Services to better understand the potential health impacts to customers of the Valle Verde Water Company.

"These are significant drinking water violations," said Director Owens. "ADEQ is committed to ensuring that the drinking water served by Valle Verde to its customers is safe. Valle Verde must take action immediately to correct this situation."

The NOV requires Valle Verde to submit the missing water quality monitoring data, apply for the required permits and demonstrate that the drinking water being served to the company's customers meets all applicable health and safety standards.

A Notice of Violation is a compliance tool used by ADEQ to put a party on notice that the agency believes a significant violation of environmental law has occurred.

Owens said that Valle Verde could face substantial financial penalties for the water quality violations.

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ADEQ Director Owens Awards $114,950 Grant for Water Quality Improvement Project in Cochise County

PHOENIX (June 14, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that the department has awarded a $114,950 grant to fund a water quality improvement project in the Whitewater Draw National Wildlife Area in Cochise County, near the town of McNeal.

"Protecting the local watershed is absolutely critical," Director Owens said. "We are pleased to provide these funds to support this important local effort."

The grant is for the Coronado Resource Conservation and Development Council, a non-profit corporation based in Willcox that assists local communities in improving their use of natural resources. The Council has been working with four local ranchers whose property is located within the Hay Mountain Watershed and who manage 61,500 acres of rangeland that drains into the Whitewater Draw and its National Wildlife Area downstream.

The ranchers have been working with the federal National Resources Conservation Service to improve livestock management on their individual ranches.

Under the grant, the ranchers will install dams and dikes on 7,000 acres to slow runoff from the upper watershed and attempt to reduce erosion in the area. The project will reduce sediment entering Whitewater Draw by an estimated 22,000 tons a year.

"The Council and the ranchers are doing terrific work," Owens added. "This is a great partnership."

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

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces $27,500 in Community Recycling Grants for Bullhead City in Mohave County

PHOENIX (June 11, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ has awarded $27,500 to Bullhead City to fund recycling in Mohave County.

Bullhead City will receive $25,000 for a new recycling drop-off program which will include three collection trailers. The city is partnering with Allied Waste and Sam's Club/Wal-Mart to implement this project. The funds will be used to purchase three recycling collection trailers.

The city currently has no recycling opportunities available to residents, but the city estimates 20 percent of its solid waste stream is recyclable.

This grant is part of ADEQ's Waste Reduction Assistance (WRA) grants program, which funds projects devoted to waste reduction, recycling and composting.

In addition, Bullhead City will receive $2,500 to promote the new recycling program through schools, cable advertising and direct mailing to all residents.

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 increases 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 Bullhead City's efforts to increase recycling in Arizona."

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces $367,103 in Community Recycling Grants for Peoria and Litchfield Park

PHOENIX (June 8, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ has awarded $367,103 to fund recycling in the West and Northwest Valley.

The City of Peoria will receive $200,000 to implement a city-wide automated Curbside Recycling Program to an estimated 45,500 Peoria households. The funds will be used to purchase recycling barrels for residential use. The goal is to recycle at least 15 percent of material that would normally end up in the solid waste stream.

In addition, Peoria will receive $61,728 to launch an automated commingled city-wide recycling program for multi-family dwellings. The program will deliver tote bins and 300-gallon barrels to multi-family dwellings.

These grants are part of ADEQ's Waste Reduction Assistance (WRA) grants program, which funds projects devoted to waste reduction, recycling and composting.

Peoria also will receive $60,000 to promote the new programs through school presentations, advertisements, newsletters, mailers, special event booths, an instructional video and block parties.

"We are absolutely delighted to help Peoria establish curbside recycling," Director Owens said. "With Peoria's program, nearly every city with 50,000 or more people in Arizona now has curbside recycling."

Also, the City of Litchfield Park will receive $45,375 to implement an educational outreach campaign targeting school children, local businesses and residents through public event appearances, advertising and school presentations. Litchfield Park will host a poster/slogan recycling contest for children, set up booths at special public events and create newspaper and television advertisements to educate residents about a new curbside recycling program. Funding will be used to create door hangers, brochures, educational booklets, magnets, newspaper advertisements and videos to inform and educate residents about recycling and responsible waste reduction measures.

These grants are part of ADEQ's Waste Reduction Initiative through Education (WRITE), which supports information and education projects that encourage recycling, reuse and source reduction and increases 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 Litchfield Park's and Peoria's efforts to increase recycling in Arizona."

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces $78,000 in Community Recycling Grants for Tucson

PHOENIX (June 8, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ has awarded $78,000 to the City of Tucson to fund recycling in Pima County.

Tucson will use the grant to hold 12 one-day community household hazardous waste and computer equipment collection events throughout the 2008 fiscal year at six different locations in the Tucson area. Six more one-day collection events will be held at the Tucson Water Plant.

"These are important collection events that will give people in Tucson a safe way to get rid of all the paints, chemicals and other hazardous items they have around their homes," Director Owens said.

The events will be publicized with mailers, door hangers, newspaper announcements and fliers hung at storefronts. Funds also will be used to purchase an alternative fuel flat-bed truck. Tucson will partner with community associations for one-day collection events and with the Tucson Fire Department to ensure proper safety measures have been upheld.

This grant is part of ADEQ's Waste Reduction Assistance (WRA) grants program, which funds projects devoted to waste reduction, recycling and composting.

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

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces $145,019 in Community Recycling Grants for Arizona State University and Mesa Community College

PHOENIX (June 8, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ has awarded $145,019 to fund recycling in the Southeast Valley region.

Arizona State University's Office of Research and Sponsored Projects in Tempe will receive $98,999 for a project to recycle construction debris containing plant cellulose into ethanol to be used as fuel. The program will collect construction debris in designated waste receptacles. The construction debris will then be converted to ethanol and other byproducts at Genahol-San Tan, LLC in Casa Grande.

"This is an important project with a lot of potential," Director Owens said.

The program also will employ a graduate student from ASU to communicate with construction companies and develop educational materials and signs for construction companies.

The goal of the program is to divert 80 tons a day of construction debris from landfills.

Under another grant, Mesa Community College will receive $46,020 to increase the scope of its curbside commingled recycling program by expanding recycling to encompass all campus buildings, providing recycling locations along public walkways and establishing used battery and light bulb collection sites on campus. This project will create two positions to coordinate the program. MCC will partner with the City of Mesa to obtain more than 150 collection bins.

"This is a great partnership between Mesa Community College and the City of Mesa," Owens said.

These grants are part of ADEQ's Waste Reduction Assistance (WRA) grants program, which funds projects devoted to waste reduction, recycling and composting.

"Recycling is one of our most effective tools to protect our environment," Owens added. "We are glad to support ASU's and MCC's efforts to increase recycling in Arizona."

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces $60,000 Community Recycling Grants for Cochise County

PHOENIX (June 8, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ has awarded $60,000 to fund recycling in Cochise County.

The grant will fund a study on recycling in general with a special concentration on establishing a permanent county facility to recycle electronic equipment and construction and demolition debris.

"Since the early 1990s, several efforts at recycling have been made in Cochise County, primarily by private companies," Owens said. "These were not successful and were discontinued. This study will lead the way towards making recycling a part of everyday life in Cochise County."

The grant is being awarded under ADEQ's Recycling Research and Development Proposals program, which funds projects that involve research, including feasibility studies, solid waste audits and marketing and/or technology development, such as new equipment or processes. The objective of these projects is to increase the proper disposal of solid waste, source reduction, recycling, buying recycled content products or composting.

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

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces Over $208,000 in Recycling Grants for Phoenix Public Works Department

PHOENIX (June 6, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ has awarded $208,752.50 to the City of Phoenix Public Works Department to fund community recycling programs.

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

The city's Public Works Department will receive $141,000 to implement a Special Events Recycling program, which will divert from the landfill much of the solid waste materials collected at 13 special events in the City of Phoenix. Phoenix will purchase an alternative fuel truck with a rear-load compacter, a John Deere Gator tractor with a tilt bed, and special-venue collection containers to implement this project.

The events are the PF Chang Marathon, Takin' It to the Streets, the annual Martin Luther King event, Matsuri, Sister Cities, Aloha Festival, Conquer Cancer Walk, Fabulous Phoenix Fourth, Dia de Los Ninos, Race For the Cure, Fiesta of Light, APS Electric Light Parade and the Fiesta Bowl Parade.

In addition, the city will receive $67,752.50 to expand its recycling program by purchasing new recycling containers to be used in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve to decrease the amount of recyclables currently going into the solid waste stream.

The city also will target outdoor enthusiasts with an educational campaign. The program includes posters about recycling, ads in The Arizona Republic and water-bill inserts, and 35-gallon recycling containers. Phoenix will partner with Keep Phoenix Beautiful on this project.

"The City of Phoenix is doing a great job with recycling," Owens said.

These grants are part of ADEQ's Waste Reduction Assistance (WRA) grants program, which funds projects devoted to waste reduction, recycling and composting.

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces $10,000 Community Recycling Grant for Town of Quartzsite in La Paz County

PHOENIX (June 6, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ has awarded $10,000 to fund recycling in the Town of Quartzsite in La Paz County.

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

The grant will fund the purchase of a wood chipper to reduce the amount of green waste in the La Paz County Landfill by an estimated 26 percent. Mulch from the chipper will be available free to local farmers and gardeners. This project also will create a part-time job with Quartzsite.

The grant is part of ADEQ's Waste Reduction Assistance (WRA) grants program, which funds projects devoted to waste reduction, recycling and composting.

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ADEQ Issues High Pollution Advisory for Particulate Matter for Wednesday, June 6

PHOENIX (June 5, 2007) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Wednesday, June 6 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 Wednesday because windy conditions predicted to be as high as 40 miles per hour are expected to result in unhealthy levels of airborne PM10 particles. It is the third HPA issued for PM10 in 2007.

"A High Pollution Advisory for PM10 in the month of June is rare, but we are experiencing a weather pattern that will bring high winds to the Valley and stir up a lot of dust," said ADEQ Director Steve Owens. "This just underscores the need to get the Valley's particulate pollution problem under control."

Owens added that ADEQ has been working on legislation to enact new measures to reduce dust pollution in the Valley that may be voted on by the Legislature in the next week or so. "We hope the Legislature will take action soon," Owens said. "Our pollution problem isn't going to solve itself."

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 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 Director Steve Owens Announces New Director for Office of Border Environmental Protection in Tucson

PHOENIX (June 4, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens announced today that Edna Mendoza has been selected Director of ADEQ's Office of Border Environmental Protection in Tucson.

"Edna has been working on border environmental issues at ADEQ for several years," Owens said. "She has the experience, knowledge and expertise to ensure that the important environmental issues along the international border continue to receive the attention they need."

Edna is an Arizona native, born and raised in Nogales. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a major in biology. Edna has been working with ADEQ on border environmental issues for 13 years, including ADEQ's efforts with the Arizona-Mexico Commission, the Border 2012 Environmental Program and the Border Governors' Conference.

ADEQ's Office of Border Environmental Protection is based in Tucson at ADEQ's Southern Regional Office, where it works on border environmental issues related to air and water quality, waste from illegal border crossings and recycling, among other issues.

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