ADEQ fines Yuma excavating and paving contractor

ADEQ fines Yuma excavating and paving contractor

Source: Sun (Yuma, AZ), September 20, 2011
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BTZ, a Yuma excavation and demolition contractor, has agreed to pay a $110,000 penalty for asbestos and air quality violations from its demolition activities and at its asphalt plant, according to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

“Arizona companies must comply with the requirements that protect our air quality,” said Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne. “This settlement is a reasonable resolution for a company that operated improperly.”

The Yuma Sun attempted to contact BTZ owner Brice Zeller for comment for the article, but was unable to reach him. Just last week the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office also announced that another company owned by Zeller, the South Yuma County Landfill, agreed to pay a $70,000 penalty for failing of securing an air quality permit.

Zeller said the reason the company didn’t acquire an air quality permit was the engineer he hired made a technical error on the original design capacity of the landfill, a mistake he and his company actually reported to ADEQ.

ADEQ conducted inspections of BTZ’s hot mix asphalt and crushing and screening plants in 2008. At the asphalt plant north of 10th Street near 1st Avenue, several holes in the bottom of the plant’s stack were observed and BTZ had not conducted a stack test on the plant to verify that the facility was meeting its emission limits. The company’s vehicles also were generating excessive dust at the site.

ADEQ investigators also discovered that the crushing and screening plant was operating equipment without a permit. ADEQ reported it observed excessive dust emissions from equipment due to an inoperable pollution control device. Two notices of violation were issued to BTZ for the violations. The company corrected those problems and returned to compliance in early 2010.

BTZ also received a notice of violation in the summer of 2008 for not complying with state regulations for handling asbestos during its demolition of a section of Kofa High School. A follow-up inspection again found BTZ conducting demolition work prior to having the asbestos abated.

A notice of violation was issued to BTZ for disturbing the asbestos materials during demolition, not properly marking the asbestos transport vehicles and improperly packaging the materials in a dumpster. BTZ returned to compliance from those violations later that year.

“Companies involved in road-building and demolition activities need to do the proper pre-planning to insure that they have environmental compliance,” ADEQ Director Henry Darwin said. “But the company came into compliance promptly after the violations were identified.”

The consent judgment is subject to court approval.

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