ADEQ Statement San Simon, AZ

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
2016-05-17

Statement
I-10 Milepost 376 Farm Dust Issue

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  • The dust issue caused by activities at David Turner’s farm, located near milepost 376 on I-10, is unacceptable.
  • Since the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality became aware of this issue, we have worked proactively and diligently with the farmer, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Arizona Department of Public Safety, and the Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA) to take actions to solve this problem caused by this new owner to the area, who being from out-of-state, was unfamiliar with the nature of Arizona soils.
  • During our work together, it appeared as if Mr. Turner understood the urgency and need for quick and thorough action.
  • Therefore, in collaboration with ADOT and ADA, we deployed state resources to mitigate the dust issue and arranged for stepped up watering of the farm.
  • Simultaneously, we worked on a consent order with Mr. Turner to remedy the situation, which we finalized yesterday and went into effect immediately. Key components include:
    • Cease tilling/cropland leveling activities on undisturbed soil
    • Apply a chemical stabilizer to create a crust and prevent blowing dust
    • Plant vegetative cover
    • Limit the amount of acreage disturbed in the future
  • ADEQ inspectors are and have been onsite to ensure the terms of the consent order are being met.
  • Mr. Turner has been slow to comply with the terms of the consent order.
  • Therefore, ADEQ is redeploying State resources to mitigate the dust issue and can pursue escalated enforcement including penalties of up to $10,000 per day at its discretion.

 

ADEQ

Established by the Arizona Legislature under the Environmental Quality Act of 1986, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is the state agency for protecting and enhancing public health and the environment of Arizona.

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