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Terry Goddard and ADEQ Director Steve Owens Announce $10,000 Settlement for Illegal Asbestos Dumping in Yuma

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Sept. 13, 2006) Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens and Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced a consent judgment that requires Yuma resident Peter Auza to pay $10,000 for illegally dumping asbestos-containing waste material (ACWM), a violation of Arizona’s environmental laws.

In 2003, Auza purchased several trailers that contained regulated amounts of ACWM. Rather than properly dispose of this material, Auza illegally dumped it on privately owned property, burning a portion of the ACWM, in violation of state and federal laws.

ADEQ inspectors found unsealed ACWM disposal bags, as well as visible emissions due to burning of ACWM on the site. Because Auza failed to comply with state and federal asbestos regulations governing the handling and disposal of regulated ACWM, ADEQ issued a Notice of Violation in 2004 and filed a complaint in Maricopa County Superior Court.

"Because asbestos is a hazardous material, handling and disposal of it must be conducted carefully and in accordance with the law," Owens said. "The penalty reflects the serious nature of the violations."

In addition to agreeing to pay the $10,000 civil penalty, Auza assisted efforts to clean up and properly dispose of the ACWM and ensure that dumping will not occur again on the site.

“Illegal dumping is a problem that affects public health and our environment, as well as having a negative effect on property values,” Goddard said. “We must enforce the law to discourage illegal dumping to protect our families and neighborhoods.”

The consent judgment is subject to court approval.