[ADEQ Media] Fisher Sand & Gravel and Subsidiary to Pay $312, 000 for Air and Water Quality Violations throughout State from 2006 until 2010
Tue Apr 5 11:57:40 MST 2011
PHOENIX (April 5, 2011) - The Arizona Department of Environmental
Quality and Arizona Attorney General's Office announced today that
Fisher Sand & Gravel (FSG) and its subsidiary, Southwest Asphalt, will
pay a settlement totaling $312,000 under a consent judgment with ADEQ
for air quality and water quality violations that occurred in six
The air quality violations occurred in the City of Phoenix in Maricopa
County, community of Rio Rico in Santa Cruz County, Town of Florence in
Pinal County, community of Dragoon in Cochise County and near the Town
of Wickenburg in Yavapai County. The water quality violation occurred at
Oak Creek in Sedona in Coconino County.
Of the $312,000 being paid by FSG, $187,000 will be for the development
and implementation of an Environmental Management System (EMS) that is
expected to help FSG avoid future violations. The EMS is a continual
cycle of planning, implementing, reviewing and improving the actions
that FSG undertakes to meet its business goals while protecting the
In 2006, ADEQ inspections conducted in Maricopa County revealed that FSG
had in several cases exceeded its hours of operation during a 10-week
period. In one of those cases, FSG was permitted for 3.3 hours per day
but operated up to 16 hours in some instances. Subsequent inspections
conducted as recently as March 2010 uncovered other significant
violations including operating without an air quality permit, failure to
prevent excess dust emissions, and failure to conduct performance
testing on applicable equipment.
FSG also was cited for operating equipment with stack heights
significantly below the permitted limits. The permit required FSG to
have a 14-foot stack on its internal combustion engines and a 22-foot
stack on its asphalt equipment but at the time of inspection many of the
stacks measured only between six and 12 feet high. Maintaining the
proper stack height is crucial for the proper dispersion of air
ADEQ's air quality division issued FSG 18 Notices of Violation and four
Notices of Opportunity to Correct from September 2006 through March
2010. The majority of the violations occurred in Maricopa County, which
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designated as a
non-attainment area for PM-10.
In addition, FSG was issued two Notices of Violation in March 2009 and
one Notice of Violation in March 2010 for unauthorized discharges of
sediment to Oak Creek near Sedona and a sewage spill near U.S. Highway
89A near Oak Park. FSG also failed to control discharges from
construction activities which resulted in a plume of sediment moving
downstream. Sediment has adverse impacts on fish and aquatic habitats as
well as spoiling aesthetic values.
"Fisher Sand & Gravel did not live up to its obligations to protect air
quality near its operations and a national treasure like Oak Creek,"
ADEQ Director Henry Darwin said. "FSG must take its environmental
obligations seriously and comply with the laws that protect the
environment and public health. An Environmental Management System, as
required by this settlement, is a good first step."
"The many serious violations that occurred, including in the Sedona
area, prompted our office and ADEQ to take a significant enforcement
action," Attorney General Tom Horne said. "Compliance with Arizona's
environmental regulations is not optional and companies that fail to
abide by the law must be held accountable."
The consent judgment is subject to court approval.
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