Six South Phoenix Companies Reduce Air Pollution
A year after joining a voluntary partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Maricopa County and community leaders, six South Phoenix area industries reduced air pollution emissions by 18,452 pounds.
As part of the Industry Challenge/Good Neighbor Partnership, Earl’s Fiberglass, ON Semiconductor, Sanmina-SCI, Schuff Steel Company, Super Radiator Coils and UCSC, Inc. — six of the 21 charter members — reduced their air emissions in 2005.
The partnership, which launched March 2005 and runs through spring 2008, aims to reduce routine air emissions of priority pollutants by 20 percent between 2002 and 2007 (adjusted to production), and reduce the number and severity of accidental releases.
“Over the past year, our partners kept more than 18,000 pounds of air pollution from being emitted into the air we breathe,” said Maricopa County Air Quality Department Director Bob Kard. “This incredible partnership achieved this goal without any new regulations.”
Additional charter members Chem Research, National Gypsum, Phoenix Brickyard, Rinker Materials and Western States Petroleum have also set air emission reduction goals, and are currently working to meet those.
“These eleven companies have established an average 31 percent reduction goal for air emissions of 21 chemicals,” explained Trace Terrin, management analyst at the Maricopa County Air Quality Department and chairperson of the partnership’s emission reduction workgroup. “These reductions involve high priority, high toxicity chemicals — like formaldehyde, sulfuric acid, perchloroethylene and xylene.”
“This year’s results are great news,” said Steve Thorne, Environmental Health and Safety Engineer at Sanmina-SCI and the partnership’s co-chairperson. “Given that many of these companies are growing, it’s beneficial that they will emit less pollution per unit of production than they would have if we had not created the partnership. We’re hoping many more companies are inspired by this and decide to get on board.”
“The South Phoenix area has the highest childhood asthma rates in Arizona, and these companies met the challenge and made a significant reduction in air pollution,” said Jeff Scott, the EPA’s Waste Management Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “By working together, we have an opportunity to prove that South Phoenix can have both a thriving industrial base and clean air for its citizens to breathe.”
Emission reductions are tracked and reported annually. The Industry Challenge/Good Neighbor Partnership companies will continue to reduce emissions in 2006 and 2007 and report results to the public. Other partnership member companies are improving site safety procedures and equipment to prevent accidental chemical fires and releases.
For more information on the partnership, please visit the Web site at: http://www.phoenixindustrychallenge.com