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October 2004

Illegal Asbestos Dumping Uncovered

Phoenix, AZ— Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) director Steve Owens announced that his office has issued notices of violation against three companies and two individuals for their roles in the disposal of more than 1,000 bags of asbestos-containing material that were illegally dumped earlier this year at a site southwest of Yuma.

The companies named in the notices are International Environmental Corporation, Southwest Hazard Control, Inc. and Environmental Management Consultants.

The companies were cited for improperly disposing of asbestos-containing waste material. International Environmental Corporation and Southwest Hazard Control, Inc. are contractors that removed asbestos-containing waste materials from building renovation projects in Maricopa County. Environmental Management Consultants operated a laboratory at which asbestos-containing waste material was generated.

The individuals named in the notices are Mr. Pete Auza and Mr. San Pedro Martinez.

ADEQ’s investigation of this matter discovered that Mr. Martinez, whose company had been hired to transport the asbestos-containing waste material, sold four trailers filled with the material to Mr. Auza, who then instructed his employees to dispose of the material on the private property where the waste material was subsequently discovered.

The violations cover the improper handling and disposal of asbestos-containing waste.

“This was one of the most flagrant violations of Arizona’s environmental laws that we have seen,” Owens said. “We conducted a complete investigation of this illegal disposal and are now taking enforcement action against the responsible parties.”

The bags of asbestos-containing material were discovered on private property near Avenue D and 11th Street in April by the owner of the property, who notified local officials. ADEQ conducted an investigation to find the parties responsible for the illegal disposal. The issuance of these notices of violation is the outcome of that investigation.

The removed waste was transported to Copper Mountain Landfill in Wellton, which is permitted and equipped to store asbestos.

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