Superfund Notices/Meetings

PRESS RELEASE | The state Superfund program would be fully funded under the Governor’s proposed FY21 proposed state budget

PHOENIX (January 21, 2020) — The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) will be able to expand clean up from historic industrial contamination at polluted sites in Arizona under the proposed budget announced by Governor Doug Ducey on Friday. This budget recognizes the importance of the existing funding strategy for the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF), which is the state Superfund program. The model to fund cleanup is more equitable to business and encourages faster response, unlike the model used by most other states and the federal government.

The WQARF program identifies, assesses and mitigates the threat of contamination to groundwater and overlying soil at hazardous waste sites in the state. Generally, this work is funded by responsible parties who pay for cleanup for their portion of the contamination. But, when no financially viable responsible party can be identified, it creates ‘orphan shares’ and a need for the state to address contamination. The proposed Fiscal Year 2021 Arizona budget allocates $15 million from the Corporate Income Tax to address contamination at orphaned sites. If passed by the legislature, it would be the first time WQARF has been fully funded to address orphan shares since before the Great Recession.

“Our mission is to protect public health and the environment, and this funding is essential in continuing our progress to do so,” said Misael Cabrera, ADEQ Director. “Without this financial support, work would possibly slow or even stop at some sites, while also impacting our ability to address emerging contaminants or contamination in other areas of Arizona. We celebrate and welcome the opportunity to be responsible stewards of state funds, while also making this a better state to live, work and play.”

FY 2021 Budget - The Arizona Way | View >

ADEQ has a proven record for cleaning up sites and continuing to explore technological and administrative options to accelerate cleanup through lean management principles. ADEQ remains focused on completing Remedial Investigations faster to identify effective cleanup options, executing well-planned mobilizations to assess contamination efficiently, and deploy innovative cleanup technologies as they are developed and proven to save time and money.

Since 2013, ADEQ completed cleanup and removed 6 sites from the WQARF registry. This was a first in program history, with no sites removed from the list in the first 25 years of the WQARF being established.
Between Fiscal Year 2016 to Fiscal Year 2019, the WQARF program has:

  • Treated more than 7.2 billion gallons of groundwater.
  • Extracted more than 2.4 billion pounds of metals and other hazardous waste.
  • Removed 12,983 pounds of volatile organic compounds.
  • Addressed 3,411 tons of contaminated soil.

However, there is still work to be done. ADEQ estimates more than 40,000 acre-feet of contaminated groundwater remains in Arizona and needs to be addressed. The proposed budget from Governor Ducey will further support clean up and ADEQ’s mission to protect and enhance public health and the environment. Visit the ADEQ My Community webpage at azdeq.gov/wqarf-registry for more information and to learn what is being done to address contamination at WQARF sites in your area.

Contact

ADEQ Public Information Officer | 602-771-2215 (office) | 602-540-8072 (cell) | Email >

PUBLIC NOTICE | Seeking Input on Cleanup Work at 19th Avenue Landfill Superfund Site in Phoenix

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and ADEQ started the fifth Five-Year Review (FYR) of the cleanup plans (or “remedies”) at the 19th Avenue Landfill Superfund site. The purpose of this FYR is to evaluate whether the cleanup plans are working as designed and that they still protect public health and the environment. The EPA is required to review a site remedy every five years if a cleanup takes more than five years to complete or if hazardous waste remains on-site. In this case, waste remains on-site as part of the remedy.

Site Information

The 213-acre site is in an industrial area of Phoenix at the southeast corner of 19th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road. Site contamination came from former sand and gravel mining and later landfill operations for municipal refuse and various solid and liquid industrial wastes. The landfill operated until it was closed in 1979. The site was listed on the EPA National Priorities List (NPL), or “Superfund list,” in 1983 and was deleted from the NPL in 2006 when cleanup goals had been met. The NPL is a list of the most hazardous toxic waste sites in the country. The last FYR was completed in 2015 and the next one will be conducted 2025. ADEQ is the lead agency overseeing the long-term operation and maintenance of the Superfund remedies being conducted by the City of the Phoenix.

The city constructed the remedy in 1996. The remedy includes safely containing contaminated materials and soils within the boundaries of the closed Nineteenth Avenue Landfill. It also includes putting a cap over the landfill wastes to limit water from entering the site. Finally, the remedy collected, flared and monitored methane gas from the landfill so the gas wouldn’t move off-site. In addition, the city continues to monitor groundwater underlying the site.

19th Avenue Landfill Site Overview | Visit Page > 

What is Included in a FYR?

The last FYR found the cleanup remedies were working as intended. The 2020 FYR will completed no later than Sept. 20, 2020, and will include:

  • an inspection of the site and cleanup technologies
  • a review of data and maintenance records;
  • a review to see if any new laws or requirements have been put in place since the last FYR.

EPA and ADEQ Would Like to Hear from You

We invite the community to learn more about the site and welcome your input about how you think the site remedies are working. If you would like to discuss the site, please contact either of the site project managers before Feb. 28, 2020:

  • Lisa Kowalczyk, ADEQ, 602-771-3976 | Email >
  • Nadia Hollan Burke, EPA, 415-972-3187 or toll free 800-231-3075 | Email >

Review Documents & Site Information

Original Published Public Notice | View/Print > | En Español >

You may also review the above documentation in person at the ADEQ Record Center | Learn How >

EPA will post a copy of the report, when available, on the site webpage | View EPA Page > 
The report will also be available at the ADEQ Record Center and on the 19th Avenue Landfill Site Repository | View Repository >