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Newsroom: Press Release Archive: August 2007

Aug. 29, 2007
ADEQ Director Owens Announces $50,000 Brownfields Grant to City of St. Johns in Apache County
PHOENIX: Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that ADEQ is awarding a $50,000 Brownfields grant to the City of St. Johns in Apache County to perform an environmental site assessment of a five-acre former uncontrolled construction dump site where the City plans to expand its public cemetery.
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Aug. 29, 2007
ADEQ and Director Steve Owens Honored for Efforts to Restore Standin' on the Corner Park in Winslow
PHOENIX: The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and ADEQ Director Steve Owens have been honored by the City of Winslow and the city's Standin' on the Corner Foundation for their efforts to restore the Standin' on the Corner site in Winslow.
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Aug. 27, 2007
ADEQ and Arizona Cardinals Team Up for Recycling
PHOENIX: Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ and the Arizona Cardinals have teamed up for a second straight year to conduct a highly successful recycling program for all Cardinals home games at University of Phoenix Stadium this season.
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Aug. 27, 2007
ADEQ Director Steve Owens Named Co-Chair of Western Climate Initiative
PHOENIX: Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens has been selected co-chair of the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), a multistate, international collaboration to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the West.
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ADEQ Issues High Pollution Advisory for Ozone for Thursday, August 16

PHOENIX (Aug. 15, 2007) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Thursday, August 16 for the Phoenix metropolitan area due to forecast weather conditions which are expected to generate levels of ozone that could exceed unhealthy levels.

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 on Thursday, and all Valley residents should reduce particulate ozone-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.

"We have been fortunate weather-wise, and this is just the second High Pollution Advisory for ozone we have issued this year," ADEQ Director Steve Owens said. "Increasing temperatures and other conditions, however, are contributing to higher ozone levels than we have been experiencing. We urge Valley residents to take steps to help reduce emissions that lead to the formation of ozone."

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 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 to Work with City of Tucson to Clean up Contaminated Groundwater near Tucson Convention Center

PHOENIX (Aug. 14, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality(ADEQ) Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ will work with the City of Tucson to investigate and clean up contaminated groundwater near the Tucson Convention Center (TCC) in downtown Tucson.

ADEQ has determined that the contamination likely was caused by leaking underground storage tanks (USTs) once owned by the City near the TCC.

The tanks were removed from the site in the 1990s, and based on data supplied by the City of Tucson at the time, the site was declared officially "closed" in 1999. Data recently collected by the city, however, shows that the soil and groundwater is still contaminated at levels above cleanup standards at property located at 260 South Stone Avenue, which belongs to the Tucson Police and Fire Department.

Based on the new information, the City of Tucson will perform additional activities to investigate the full extent of the soil and groundwater contamination in the area and to take steps to clean up the contamination. The City may be eligible to receive up to $500,000 in funding from ADEQ's UST State Assurance Fund (SAF) to help offset the cost of the cleanup. ADEQ will oversee the work performed by the City.

"We are committed to ensuring that the contamination is cleaned up," Director Owens said. "We will be working closely with the City of Tucson to make sure that the necessary actions are taken."

No supply wells are known to be drawing drinking water from the groundwater associated with the site.

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ADEQ Director Owens Announces New Air Quality Monitoring Site for Green Valley in Pima County

PHOENIX (Aug. 7, 2007) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens announced today that ADEQ has established a new site at the Green Valley Fire District to monitor for harmful airborne dust particles.

Director Owens said ADEQ made the decision to install the additional site in Green Valley after air-quality violations occurred at the Phelps Dodge Sierrita copper mine last fall. ADEQ issued a Notice of Violation to the company after airborne mine tailings dust infiltrated residents' homes and yards, as well as settling on several neighborhood streets.

"This new site will help us monitor air quality in Green Valley, as well as track Phelps Dodge's compliance with its air quality permit," Director Owens said.

The new monitoring site, selected by ADEQ and the Green Valley Community Coordinating Council citizens group, is at the Green Valley Fire District Administration Building, 1285 W. Camino Encanto. The monitors are housed on the roof of the Administration building.

The monitors site will report hourly concentrations of coarse particulates, called PM10 (particles 10 micrometers in diameter), as well as fine particulates, called PM 2.5 (particles 2.5 micro meters in diameter), which are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency because inhaling them can damage the heart and lungs.

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