PRESS RELEASE | First Round of Air Quality Monitoring Completed in Tonopah and Arlington

PHOENIX (April 30, 2018) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) completed the first round of air quality monitoring in Tonopah and Arlington, west of Phoenix. This monitoring was done in response to the number of complaints regarding odor in the area and a review of ammonia data voluntarily submitted by two Hickman’s Family Farms facilities to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) last year.

Ammonia and hydrogen sulfide in the ambient air were monitored at 13 different sites. Because the monitoring required specialized equipment and technical expertise, a contractor conducted the work on behalf of ADEQ.

The data was compared to the State of Arizona and Maricopa County Occupied Space Standard (see Note 1 below), which is an odor nuisance-based measurement, and Arizona Ambient Air Quality Guidelines (AAAQGs) (see Note 2 below). Concentrations in the air that are over AAAQGs may not necessarily represent a health risk. Rather, further evaluation may be necessary to determine whether or not a public health risk is present. The AAAQGs do not take into account odor thresholds, which are much lower than health-based numbers.

A review of the data indicates the following:

  • In Tonopah, data recorded did not exceed the standard or guidelines.
  • In Arlington, data recorded at one site indicate an exceedance of the standard and one of the guidelines for hydrogen sulfide (see Note 3 below). For ammonia, the data recorded indicate an exceedance of the guideline at two sites (see Note 4 below).

There is no apparent immediate health concern, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). Data in this first round of monitoring are being used to determine the scope of a second round of monitoring, which is planned to start within the next 45 days. Data from the second round of monitoring will allow for a precise comparison against the AAAQGs for both ammonia and hydrogen sulfide.

A follow-on technical memorandum for this first round of monitoring is due from the contractor soon. This will contain an expanded description of the monitoring.

ADEQ appreciates the cooperation from both residents and businesses in the area for this first round of monitoring.

Click the links below to download:

  • Task 1 and 2 Technical Memorandum | View >
  • Video interview with Timothy Franquist, ADEQ Air Quality Division Director | View >
  • Site Map Arlington | View >
  • Site Map Tonopah | View >

Note 1. Arizona Administrative Code Title 18 Chapter 2 R18-2-730. Maricopa County Air Quality Rule 320 Section 304.

Note 2. Finalized by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) in 1992. For the hydrogen sulfide, there is a 1-hour and 24-Hour Average AAAQG. For Ammonia, there is a 24-Hour Average AAAQG.

Note 3. ADEQ cautions against an ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison because hydrogen sulfide was measured in 30-Minute Average concentrations and cannot be directly correlated to the AAAQGs. Data indicate an exceedance of the 1-Hour Average AAAQG, but not the 24-Hour Average AAAQG. ADEQ cannot determine with confidence if any of the other sites did or did not experience an exceedance for those measurements.

Note 4. ADEQ cautions against an ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison because ammonia was measured in 1-Week Average Concentrations and cannot be directly correlated to the AAAQG. Based on the data, ADEQ is confident there was an exceedance of the 24-Hour Average AAAQG at two of the sites, but cannot determine with confidence if any of the other sites did or did not experience an exceedance for that same measurement.

Contact:
ADEQ Public Information Officer Erin Jordan | 602-771-2215 | E-mail >