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TWO PHOENIX DEVELOPERS TO PAY $21,000 TO SETTLE DUST VIOLATIONS
Release Date: 8/9/2000
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, U.S.EPA, (415) 744-1588
Actions Part Of U.S. EPA and Maricopa County Dust Control Enforcement
SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced that two Phoenix-area developers, CHI Construction Co. and Maracay Homes Inc., have agreed to pay a total of $21,000 in penalties to settle alleged violations of Maricopa County's dust control regulations.
"Dust in the air is a serious health threat, especially to children, older people, and those with respiratory illnesses. Construction sites that generate dust can easily minimize it by spraying it down with water," said Amy Zimpfer, acting director of U.S. EPA's air division for the Pacific Southwest region. "There's no excuse for failing to comply with dust control requirements."
The dust control violations occurred at new residential housing developments in Mesa. Maracay has agreed to pay $15,000 in penalties, and CHI has agreed to pay $6,000. Federal law requires permits for earth moving at construction sites, which include plans to control dust emissions. Control measures include such simple practices as watering down construction and demolition sites, and preventing dust from being tracked out onto adjacent roads. CHI failed to use such dust control measures during earth moving work. Maracay did not have their earth moving permit available on site, did not remove soil tracked out onto the paved road at their site entrance, and did not apply control measures during earth moving.
Arizona and federal law also require dust control on unpaved parking lots and unpaved roads. Control measures include paving, gravel, or stabilizing the surface with water or other dust suppressants. Maricopa County's particulate air pollution, which includes dust and soot, exceeds the national health standard. The EPA has classified the County as a serious non-attainment area for particulate matter. Under the federal Clean Air Act, such areas must adopt control measures to reduce dust and soot in the air. The violations of Maricopa County's fugitive dust rules were discovered by EPA inspectors as part of the EPA's cooperative effort with the County to enforce local dust rules.