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EPA praises Maricopa County's dust control guide

Release Date: 06/08/2011
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, (415) 947-4149, perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov


11th Annual Clean Air Excellence Awards Recognize Public and Private Sector Achievements

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented one of 12 national awards to the Maricopa County Air Quality Department for its new Dust Abatement Handbook.

Following Maricopa County’s designation as a “serious nonattainment area,” for particulate matter or dust, the Air Quality Department was required to show a 5 percent reduction in particulates annually until the standard is met – no easy feat in its desert environment. Over the course of several months, the Air District convened stakeholders in a collaborative effort to develop a dust control handbook explaining the dust control rules and how they apply to different activities. The result was the development of The Air the Dust Abatement Handbook and accompanying Dust Abatement Field Guide for the Construction Industry as one component of a comprehensive, aggressive regional program to reduce dust emissions.

“The handbook and field guide developed by the Maricopa County Air Quality Department is a practical guide to reduce dust emissions,” said Deborah Jordan, Air Division Director for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “By bringing together industry and government, this project reflects a shared commitment to achieving improved air quality.”

In addition to the handbook, the department’s easy-to-use, pocket-sized “field guide” provides a quick reference on how to limit airborne dust during common types of dust generating operations. While the handbook and manual are being used as welcome tools to achieve compliance, perhaps the greatest immediate improvement was the strengthened relationships between regulators and businesses.

The EPA is honoring 12 projects from across the United States for innovative efforts in achieving cleaner air to protect the health of Americans. The 11th annual Clean Air Excellence Award recipients include organizations from both the public and private sector who have demonstrated a commitment to creating new green infrastructure and jobs in the United States. Organizations also are being recognized for planning and education efforts that help citizens make better informed environmental decisions.

The awards program, established in 2000 at the recommendation of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, annually recognizes entries that reduce air pollution, demonstrate innovative models for others to follow, and offer sustainable outcomes.

This year’s award recipients were selected from 75 applicants and represent achievements in four categories: clean air technology, community action, education/outreach, and regulatory policy innovations. In addition to the Maricopa County Air Quality Department, three other award winners are from the Pacific Southwest region:

Clean Air Technology

California Cartage Company, LLC, Santa Monica, Calif.

Project: Liquefied Natural Gas Port Truck Project

Community Action

Placer County Air Pollution Control District, Auburn, Calif.
Project: Forest Resource Sustainability in Placer County, Calif.

Transportation Efficiency Innovations

Pacific Gas & Electric Company, San Francisco, Calif.
Project: Advancing Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

For more information and a list of all 12 winners, please visit:
http://www.epa.gov/air/cleanairawards/index.html