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EPA announces Arizona environmental enforcement accomplishments for 2007 Asbestos, air quality related cases highlight year

Release Date: 11/15/2007
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, (415) 947-4307, Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711

(11/15/07) SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement actions in Arizona for 2007 continues the agency’s successful efforts to make polluters achieve on-the-ground improvements to bring environmental and public health benefits for the state’s residents.

Leading the year’s enforcement accomplishments efforts, include regulating asbestos requirements in schools, enforcing dust control laws and protecting air quality. Polluters committed to more than $2.82 million to correct environmental violations and prevent future pollution, resulting in over 50,000 pounds of pollutants reduced in the environment.

“The EPA’s efforts to control exposure to asbestos and protect air quality in Arizona in 2007 will benefit human health and the environment for Arizona residents for years to come,” said Wayne Nastri, administrator of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest office. “The EPA will continue working to enforce environmental laws, and ensure compliance of environmental regulations to improve public health.”

Arizona enforcement highlights for 2007 include:

    • Asbestos in schools: Seven Tucson charter school operators were fined a combined total of $67,240 for Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act violations. Five other Arizona charter schools paid penalties totaling $49,200 for asbestos violations. All failed to conduct inspections to determine if asbestos-containing material was present in school buildings, and failed to have an asbestos management plan. All of the schools have since taken necessary actions to comply with the law. Each school currently has a management plan, including asbestos location and how schools will properly manage asbestos to reduce risk of exposure.
    • Henry Products paid a $175,000 fine for releasing excess air emissions. After the company installed a new polystyrene foam pre-expander that increased the concentration of its volatile organic compound emissions, the facility could not safely operate its VOC emissions control device, and vented VOCs directly into the air. As part of the penalty, the facility installed a state of the art emissions capture and control device to reduce 95 percent of its VOC emissions.
    • Richmond American Homes of Arizona, Inc. paid a $155,000 fine for alleged dust violations at five residential construction sites in Maricopa County. The Maricopa County Air Quality Department discovered the violations during routine inspections from 2003 to 2005. The violations included, failing to use a suitable control device to remove dirt from vehicle tires exiting construction sites, not controlling dust generated by construction work, and failing to spray disturbed surface areas with water while conducting earth moving operations on an acre or more.
    • Shasta Beverages, Inc. was fined $11,900 for failing to file annual chemical inventory forms with state and local emergency response agencies for chlorine and ammonia stored at its soft drink manufacturing facility in 2003 through 2005.
    • Romic Environmental Technologies paid a $97,000 settlement for violating federal waste handling and storage laws. The company performs solvent recycling, blending, aerosol can processing, bulking, container crushing, and waste consolidation for off-site disposal
    • The EPA ordered Raytheon Company and the U.S. Air Force to clean up a migrating contaminated-groundwater plume at the Tucson International Airport Area Superfund Site. Under the order, Raytheon, formerly Hughes Aircraft, and the U.S. Air Force are required to treat two solvents, trichloroethylene (TCE) and 1,4-dioxane (DX), in groundwater coming from the 1,365-acre Air Force Plant 44 facility at the southern end of the Superfund site.
    • Underground storage tanks: The EPA reached expedited settlements, totaling $14,300 in penalties for 35 underground storage tank field citations. Eleven of the facilities are in Arizona and 24 are in the Navajo Nation.

Please go to http://www.epa.gov/region09/enforcement/results/index.html for a full description of the EPA’s enforcement cases throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands in 2007. For information on the EPA’s national enforcement summary for 2007, go to: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/data/results/annual/fy2007.html  


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