April 25, 2012

DOJ: Freeport-McMoran To Pay $6.8M For Natural Resource Damage Claims

Dow Jones News Service, April 24, 2012
Posted on:

Copper producer Freeport-McMoRan Corp. (FCX) and a subsidiary have agreed to pay $6.8 million to settle federal and state natural resource damage claims related to the Morenci copper mine in Arizona, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior said.

The complaint, which was filed jointly by the U.S. and Arizona on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Arizona, alleges that the release of hazardous substances from Freeport-McMoran Morenci Inc.’s mine site damaged or destroyed surface waters, terrestrial habitat and wildlife and migratory birds in the area.

The Morenci Mine was owned and operated by Phelps Dodge Corp. until it was acquired by Freeport-McMoRan in 2007.

Under the consent decree lodged Tuesday in federal court, the company will pay $6.8 million to the Department of the Interior, which will be used for projects to restore or acquire wildlife and wildlife habitat in the impacted area.

In February, the federal district court in New Mexico approved a consent decree between the U.S., New Mexico and Freeport-McMoRan that resolved natural resource damages claims at three mining sites in southwestern New Mexico.

Shares closed at $36.99 Tuesday and were unchanged after hours. The stock is down 33% over the past 12 months.…

September 21, 2011

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.…

March 22, 2011

Pesticide cleanup costs school district over $850K

Read here about an Arizona school district that had to pay over $850K to cleanup pesticide.…

July 27, 2010

Arizona Woman Awarded $3.3 Million in Mold Case

A Scottsdale, Arizona woman was awarded $3.3 million in a suit she filed after mold in her apartment building left her permanently disabled.  The woman moved to an upscale apartment complex in Scottsdale in 2000 and within two years became ill.  The 47-year-old moved out after learning about the mold contamination from neighbors.  The building owners then addressed the mold issue.…

July 23, 2010

Hazardous Waste Lawsuit Nears Settlement

A copper mining company in Arizona has agreed to pay $825,000 to settle a federal lawsuit citing them for release of hazardous substances at one of their mining sites. The Environmental Protection Agency reached an agreement with the company requiring the clean up a portion of the mine site after reporting high levels of sulfate and uranium in the area resulting from evaporation ponds and mill tailings. The contaminated aquifer was previously the sole source of drinking water for the community. The settlement includes funds for restoration projects.…