Arizona Attorney General Goddard and ADEQ Director Owens Announce
$29, 000 fine for La Paz County Soil Remediation and Disposal Facility
(Phoenix, Ariz. – April 19, 2004) Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens and Attorney General Terry Goddard announced the settlement of solid waste and air quality violations by Soil Resource Recovery of Arizona (Sonas) and CDE Resources, Inc. (CDE). Sonas and CDE will pay $29,000 in fines for violations that occurred between December 1999 and January 2002. They will also perform a human health-based risk assessment. CDE operated the facility during this time, but the facility has since ceased operations.
During an ADEQ investigation in October 2001, inspectors discovered that Sonas and CDE disposed of over 12,000 cubic yards of petroleum contaminated soil on-site at their facility located near Vicksburg without correctly treating the waste prior to disposal between December 1999 and May 2000. They also failed to follow other approved training, reporting, testing, storage and treatment procedures.
“Our investigation that revealed some disturbing violations of Arizona’s environmental laws,” said ADEQ Director Steve Owens. “We are holding Sonas and CDE accountable for these serious violations.”
ADEQ also discovered that between March 2000 and January 2002, Sonas and CDE accepted and thermally treated over 700 tons of soil containing perchloroethylene (a chlorinated solvent commonly used in retail dry cleaning and industrial degreasing operations), of which 600 tons were trucked in from California. The facility’s air quality permit prohibited processing chlorinated compound contaminated materials, which require temperatures hotter than the kiln designed and operated by Sonas and CDE for efficient thermal destruction. This led to potential air emissions of hydrogen chloride and phosgene, which are hazardous air pollutants.
“This agreement is important because more and more companies will begin to understand this office is serious about prosecuting companies that set up operations in border counties to accept and dispose of waste which violates Arizona waste and air regulations” Goddard added.