The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have issued a civil penalty against Fisher Sand and Gravel of $150,000 for failing to comply with dust mitigation regulations at three of its Maricopa County, Ariz., facilities. In addition, the company is required to take steps to minimize the generation of dust at its Phoenix plant.
“Our goal is to prevent airborne dust from harming public health,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “We will continue to work closely with local air quality agencies to enforce the rules that protect communities from dust.”
Fisher Sand and Gravel operates numerous sand and gravel facilities in Maricopa County. The violations occurred at their Buckeye, Sun City and Phoenix locations. The enforcement action stems from EPA and Maricopa County Air Quality Department inspections conducted in 2010 at these three facilities that identified 17 violations for failing to perform various measures required to reduce particulate matter emissions, such as failure to:
- Spray water during earthmoving operations.
- Remove particulate matter from vehicles leaving the site.
- Clean up dirt tracked more than 50 feet beyond the site.
- Submit and comply with dust control plans.
In addition to the penalty, the company must install water spray bars to control fugitive dust emissions at its Phoenix facility, and submit detailed compliance reports. The action is the last stemming from a series of EPA inspections in 2010 at dust generating facilities in Maricopa County as part of the agency’s initiative to help improve compliance with the area’s air plan.
The settlement, a consent decree, was lodged with the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval. The consent decree may be viewed at: www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.