(Phoenix, Ariz. – June 28, 2006) Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard announced today the filing of two lawsuits against El Paso Natural Gas Company for violations of air quality and hazardous waste regulations.
El Paso owns and operates a natural gas pipeline, which runs partially through Arizona. The settlements were made with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), which is represented by the Attorney General’s Office.
In the air quality settlement, the state alleged that El Paso failed to comply with state and federal asbestos regulations governing the removal and replacement of its asbestos-coated pipeline in Mohave County. El Paso has agreed to pay a $225,000 civil penalty in addition to maintaining on staff a certified Asbestos Hazardous Emergency Response Action inspector, who will be present during all asbestos demolition and renovation projects.
In the hazardous waste case, ADEQ had cited the company for 13 major hazardous waste violations in Pima County following a 2004 investigation. These included operating as an illegal treatment, storage and disposal facility and as an illegal transporter of hazardous waste. A settlement for these claims call for payment of $115,000.
“Industry must be aware that the state will not tolerate any disregard for violations of Arizona’s environmental regulations,” Goddard said. “We will continue to do all that is necessary to protect our citizens and our environment.”
Complaints were filed today in Maricopa County Superior Court. Consent Judgments entered into by the parties will be submitted to the court for approval. Copies of the consent judgments are attached.