Terry Goddard, Steve Owens Announce $175,000 Air Quality Settlement

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Dec. 17, 2007) Attorney General Terry Goddard and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens today announced a $175,000 settlement with United Metro Materials and Tanner Companies resolving air quality violations at five facilities in Gila, Pima and Yuma Counties.

United Metro Materials, Inc. and Tanner Companies (Yuma), Inc., doing business as Rinker Materials, have owned and operated a number of asphalt, concrete batch and crushing and screening plants throughout Arizona, including facilities in Globe, Marana, San Luis and Yuma. Many Rinker facilities are located in PM10 (particulate matter particles 10 microns or smaller) nonattainment or limited attainment areas.

Since 2004, ADEQ has issued a number of Notices of Violation for air quality violations at these facilities, including citations for operating asphalt plants and concrete batch plants without a permit, operating a Marana asphalt plant in excess of its production limits resulting in excess emissions, failing to have appropriate certificates on display, misidentifying equipment, failing to conduct required emission tests and failing to control fugitive dust emissions.

The violations are resolved by payment of the civil penalty as set forth in the proposed consent judgment. The settlement also requires the defendants to implement a corporate safety, health and environmental management system that will help the companies comply with state regulations. The cost for implementing this program is estimated between $100,000 and $200,000.

“This settlement resolves a number of violations. More importantly, the facilities are implementing an environmental safety and management program that will reduce airborne dust pollution, a major problem for our state,” Goddard said. “This is a good result for Arizona.”

“Rinker Materials’ failure to comply with the law put its workers and the citizens of Arizona at risk,” Owens said. “These were serious violations. ADEQ will continue to vigorously pursue companies that damage Arizona’s air quality.

The consent judgment is subject to court approval.