Newsroom: Press Release Archive: January 2003
  • Jan. 31, 2003: Arizona Portland Cement Company Fails Second Round of Air Quality Tests
  • Jan. 30, 2003: ADEQ Seeks Comments on Construction Project Stormwater Pollution Control Permits
  • Jan. 29, 2003: Owens Names Sedillo Head of ADEQ Northern Regional Office in Flagstaff
  • Jan. 17, 2003: ADEQ Issues Notices of Violation to Arizona Portland Cement Company
  • Jan. 06, 2003: Cunningham is Named Deputy Director at ADEQ
  • Jan. 06, 2003: Owens Takes Post as Director of ADEQ
  • Jan. 02, 2003: ADEQ Awards $2.5 Million Contract to Establish Emergency Notification System in Maricopa County

Arizona Portland Cement Company Fails Second Round of Air Quality Tests

PHOENIX (Jan. 31, 2003) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality was informed this week that the Arizona Portland Cement Co. failed a second round of testing for emissions of hazardous air pollutants at the company's Rillito plant near Tucson.

The latest round of testing, performed in January 2003 by the company, is designed to ensure that the facility complies with federal standards governing the emissions of dioxins and furans, which are byproducts of the manufacturing process.

ADEQ issued the company two separate notices of violation earlier this month related to the first round of tests. The first violation was issued Jan. 14 for the company's failure to provide ADEQ with the results of earlier performance tests, conducted in November 2002, as required by the federal regulation. The second was issued a day later when the company provided test results indicating the plant's emissions exceeded technology-based annual standards for the chemicals dioxins and furans.

Although the substances involved are hazardous in their concentrated forms, officials from the Arizona Department of Health Services and ADEQ thoroughly reviewed the data from the tests and concluded that the amounts do not appear to represent a public health hazard.

Due to the seriousness of these violations, ADEQ plans to take vigorous enforcement.

The testing being conducted by the plant resulted from a new federal rule that took effect in June 2002 requiring all existing Portland Cement manufacturing plants to conduct performance testing and report their results within six months.

ADEQ and ADHS will hold a public meeting Monday, Feb. 3, at 4 p.m. in the Rillito Vista Recreation Center, 8820 W. Robinson in Rillito to discuss the latest finding and address community concerns.

ADEQ Seeks Comments on Construction Project Stormwater Pollution Control Permits

PHOENIX (Jan. 30, 2003) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality continues to seek public comments on a proposed general permit that would govern pollution from stormwater run-off associated with small construction activities. The department has established a Feb. 10 deadline for comments.

The proposed permit will require the operator of any construction project that will disturb an acre or more of land or any parcel less than one acre but part of a larger common development plan to apply for authorization to discharge stormwater under the construction general permit.

As part of the application, operators will be required to prepare a stormwater pollution prevention plan in accordance with general permit provisions, submit a notice of intent form to ADEQ at least two business days prior to commencement of construction, and provide a Notice of Termination when the project is completed. Operators will be required to follow the terms and conditions of the permit until the construction activity is completed.

The new permit, which incorporates Phase 2 of the federal stormwater control requirements, replaces the existing federal stormwater control permit. That permit was written by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1998 to govern construction projects that disturb five or more acres of land, under Phase 1 of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System or NPDES. The new permit supercedes that permit and expands it to cover small construction projects as well.

ADEQ assumed responsibility of the permitting process for Arizona as a result of its recent delegation agreement with the EPA, which transferred authority to regulate surface water discharges from the EPA to ADEQ. Under the agreement, ADEQ now regulates discharges from all facilities and municipalities according to the federal Clean Water Act.

The proposed permit can be reviewed on ADEQ's Web site. Written comments should be sent to the attention of Chris Varga, ADEQ, Surface Water Permits Unit, 1110 W. Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007 and received or postmarked no later than February 10, 2003.

ADEQ also plans to announce a series of public workshops to discuss the final construction general permit, and will post the schedule on the department's Web site in the near future.

Owens Names Sedillo Head of ADEQ Northern Regional Office in Flagstaff

PHOENIX (Jan. 29, 2003) -- Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced that he has named James J. "Jim" Sedillo as ADEQ's assistant director for Northern Arizona and manager of the department's Northern Regional Office in Flagstaff.

"I have known Jim Sedillo for many years, and I am very excited to be working with him," Director Owens said. "Jim's terrific managerial skills, leadership abilities and long-time familiarity with Flagstaff and Northern Arizona will be invaluable to our program activities in Northern Arizona and particularly our relationships with elected officials, business leaders, community and environmental groups and other stakeholders."

"Jim will help make sure that Flagstaff and Northern Arizona receive the attention and assistance they need and deserve from ADEQ," Owens added.

Sedillo has been active in civic and community leadership in Flagstaff and Northern Arizona for more than 25 years. He represented former legislative District 2 in the Arizona House of Representatives, which included Flagstaff and parts of Northern Arizona, for two years from 2001 until earlier this year. He also served as Justice of the Peace in Coconino's Flagstaff District for nineteen years from 1981 to 2000.

"I am extremely pleased and honored to be working with the community here in Flagstaff for ADEQ," Sedillo said. "And I am looking forward to getting started."

Sedillo has a bachelor's degree from Northern Arizona University, where he also has taken graduate course work. In addition, he has completed a variety of judicial education courses.

ADEQ's Northern Regional Office in Flagstaff has seventeen employees and serves Arizona's five northern counties - Apache, Coconino, Mohave, Navajo and Yavapai. The office oversees compliance with environmental statutes and regulations within the agency's jurisdiction in these areas. The office also responds to environmental concerns from residents and businesses.

ADEQ Issues Notices of Violation to Arizona Portland Cement Company

PHOENIX (Jan. 17, 2003) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality today announced that it has issued two separate notices of violation to the Arizona Portland Cement Co. for exceeding the facility's limit on emissions of hazardous air pollutants at the company's Rillito plant near Tucson.

The first notice of violation, issued Jan. 14, resulted from the company's failure to provide ADEQ with the results of performance tests conducted in November 2002 within the time frames required by law. A second notice of violation was issued Jan. 15 after test results provided by the company indicated that the plant's emissions exceeded technology-based annual standards for the chemicals dioxins and furans, which are byproducts of the manufacturing process.

Although the substances involved are hazardous in their concentrated forms, officials from the Arizona Department of Health Services and ADEQ have thoroughly reviewed the data from the tests and concluded that the amounts do not appear to represent a public health hazard.

Due to the seriousness of these violations, ADEQ plans to take vigorous enforcement.

The testing, which was conducted by the plant in November and December 2002, resulted from a new federal rule that took effect in June 2002 requiring all existing Portland cement manufacturing plants to conduct performance testing and report their results within six months.

ADEQ and ADHS will hold a public meeting Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 4 p.m. in the Rillito Vista Recreation Center, 8820 W. Robinson in Rillito to discuss the findings and address community concerns.

Cunningham is Named Deputy Director at ADEQ

PHOENIX (Jan. 6, 2003) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality's new deputy director, Patrick J. Cunningham, moved into his office this week to begin work as the agency's second in command.

Cunningham had been an attorney with the Arizona Attorney General's Office where he served as Chief Counsel of the Environmental Enforcement Section from 1991 through 1999.

Cunningham is from Kingman, Arizona and he received his bachelor's degree in 1976 from the University of Michigan where he graduated cum laude. He earned his law degree from Arizona State University in 1979.

From 1980-1986, Cunningham served as a captain, Judge Advocate General's Corps in the United States Army where he held positions as an appellate attorney, defense attorney and prosecutor.

Cunningham served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force in the District of Arizona from 1986-1991.

Since 1991, Cunningham has worked in the Arizona Attorney General's Office in several capacities. In addition to serving as the Chief Counsel for the Environmental Enforcement Section, he worked as Chief Counsel for the Criminal Division from 1997-1999 and as Director of Legislative Affairs from 1999 through 2000.

Pat and his wife Mary Ellen have two daughters, Mary Kate and Meaghan.

Owens Takes Post as Director of ADEQ

PHOENIX (Jan. 6, 2003) -- Steve Owens, a practicing environmental attorney with extensive experience in regulatory and administrative law, took the helm as Director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality today.

Owens, who was appointed by Gov. Janet Napolitano, had been an attorney with Beashers Muchmore Wallwork in Phoenix since 1997. Prior to that, he was a director of Brown & Bain, P.A. where he was head of the environmental practice group.

Owens received his bachelor's degree, with honors, from Brown University in 1978 and his law degree from Vanderbilt Law School in 1981, where he was editor-in-chief of the Vanderbilt Law Review.

From 1982-1984, Owens served as counsel to the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology. From 1985-1988, Owens served as Chief Counsel and then State Director for United States Senator Al Gore.

Owens was active in the passage, reauthorization and oversight of key environmental statutes, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, the Superfund Amendments and Reauthroization Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Since 1993, Owens has served on the U.S. EPA's Clean Air Act Advisory Committee. From 1999-2002, he was a member of the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the Commission on Environmental Cooperation, which reviews environmental matters arising under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

From 1989-1994, Owens was a member of the Phoenix Environmental Quality Commission and served as Chair of the Commission from 1992-1993. He also served as a member of the Executive Council of the Environmental & Natural Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Arizona from 1993-1996 and on the Advisory Council of the Commission on the Arizona Environment from 1990-1996.

Owens has written and lectured on environmental issues and was an author of the Arizona Environmental Law Handbook, an author and editor of the Arizona Environmental Law Manual and an editor of the monthly Arizona Environmental Law Letter.

Steve and his wife Karen have two young sons, John and Ben.

ADEQ Awards $2.5 Million Contract to Establish Emergency Notification System in Maricopa County

PHOENIX (Jan. 2, 2003) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality today awarded a $2.5 million contract to the Maricopa Association of Governments and Qwest Communications to jointly develop and operate a community emergency notification system for Maricopa County.

The system will rapidly notify those living or working near the scene of an emergency in Maricopa County by telephone and provide them with information and any required emergency instructions in English or Spanish.

The value of such a system is the speed and efficiency with which it notifies large numbers of people and advises them of steps they can take to reduce or eliminate risks associated with the emergency. In doing so, it also reduces the number of emergency response personnel required to perform the task, allowing them instead to focus on the emergency.

"Once operational, this system will add significant capability to emergency response agencies in Maricopa County," said ADEQ Acting Director Ric Tobin. "Together MAG and Qwest have the management systems, database access and technology to provide reliable, accurate service. We're confident that they have the resources required to serve this important community need."

The system will be paid for by $2.5 million received in January 2001 from the settlement with TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Division for hazardous waste violations.

As part of its effort to award the money, ADEQ requested proposals from more than 300 entities in April. The proposal submitted by MAG and Qwest was judged a clear winner from among the nine reviewed by the selection committee.

Back