South Phoenix Industry Challenge meets environmental goals ahead of schedule
SAN FRANCISCO -- Industry members of the South Phoenix Industry Challenge/Good Neighbor Partnership have reduced over 37,000 pounds of air pollution, adjusted to production, exceeding the original goal by 140 percent.
The South Phoenix Industry Challenge/Good Neighbor Partnership is a voluntary partnership between industries operating in the South Phoenix area, community leaders and government agencies. It was launched in March 2005 and runs through spring 2008. Twenty-one companies signed on as charter members.
“South Phoenix has the highest childhood asthma rates in Arizona. Also, several large accidental chemical releases have occurred here,” said Nancy Lindsay, acting director of the Waste Management Division for the Pacific Southwest region. “That’s why we have targeted South Phoenix for this partnership with the goal of providing cleaner air for the community while supporting the industrial base of the city.”
The Industry Challenge/Good Neighbor Partnership has two main goals:
• Reduce routine air emissions of priority pollutants by 20% 2002-2007, adjusted to production
• Reduce the number and severity of accidental releases.
“The South Phoenix area has historically been the home of heavy polluters, but through our program we’re changing that,“ explains Mary Rose Wilcox, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. ”This year alone our partners were able to keep more than 37,000 pounds of air pollution from escaping into the air we breathe.”
Eight companies contributed to the 2006 air emission reductions: Chem Research, Inc., Marlam Industries, Earl’s Fiberglass, ON Semiconductor, Sanmina SCI, Schuff Steel Company, Super Radiator Coils and UCSC, Inc. National Gypsum, Phoenix Brickyard, Rinker Materials and Western States Petroleum have set air emission reduction goals as part of the partnership, but have not achieved them yet. Emission reductions are tracked and reported annually through the end of the partnership in 2008.
“These twelve companies have established reduction goals for 21 chemical air emissions,” explained Trace Terrin, Management Analyst at the Maricopa County Air Quality Department and chairperson of the IC/GN Emission Reduction Workgroup. “The average air emission reduction goal for the 21 chemicals is 31 percent, adjusted to production. Thirty-one percent, adjusted to production, is a lot to reduce, and these reductions involve some high priority/high toxicity chemicals, chemicals like formaldehyde, hydrochloric acid, perchloroethylene and xylene.”
“All large S. Phoenix area companies that emit pollutants were invited to join the ICGN Partnership, but not all agreed to do so,” said Steve Thorne, former Health and Safety manager at Sanmina and the IC/GN Communications Workgroup co-chairperson. “The companies that are participating in this partnership are to be commended for their participation, environmental leadership and success. Also, many of these companies are growing, so it’s important that each of them emit less pollution per unit of growth than they would have if we hadn’t created the partnership. These companies have shown that they want to be good neighbors, and are proving it through their actions.”
The ICGN partner companies will continue to reduce their emissions in 2007 and report their final total results from 2005-2007 to the public at an event in 2008. Other partnership member companies are working to prevent accidental fires and releases involving chemicals by improving their site safety procedures and equipment.
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