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Phone: 602-506-2891
Fax: 602-506-5939

 About Risk Management - Environmental Division

Risk Management - Environmental Division was established in 1992 by Maricopa County, as an owner/operator of regulated property, in response to the ever-evolving environmental regulatory arena, and to comply with governmental accounting standards for addressing a governmental entity's financial exposure to environmental liability.

The Environmental Division of Risk Management conducts remedial investigations and takes action to minimize County environmental liability as determined by law, regulation, statute, and/or court order. The Division provides leadership in the area of pollution prevention and environmental management, and has developed a proactive assessment and action process that mitigates environmental liabilities, saving the County in the cost of remedial action and regulatory penalties.

 FY2012-2013 Commentary

This fiscal year the Division:

  • Continued to cooperate with Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) in conducting site characterization of groundwater contamination at the Cave Creek Landfill.  An Additional Characterization Work Plan was prepared and submitted to ADEQ in November 2012, outlining the remaining work to be performed at the site.  Three new groundwater / multi-level soil vapor wells were installed. 
  • Soil contamination discovered during demolition of the Durango Vehicle Wash Facility was investigated and characterized.  A risk assessment was conducted and the site was deemed closed.
  • Continued to participate with the Hassayampa Steering Committee in working towards the remediation of the Hassayampa Superfund Site.
  • Completed in-house assessments and remedial oversight for industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, microbial contamination, asbestos and lead paint projects.  Over 130 projects were opened, completed and closed in FY 12-13.  Since the in-house service began in 2006 it continues to represent a direct savings to the County by avoiding 3rd party consultant fees in the conservative range of $150,000 - $200,000 annually. 
  • Rolled out new Hazard Communication Training to comply with OSHA’s recent Globally Harmonized System (GHS) amendments. Training has included: approximately 10 “train-the-trainer” classes, nearly 35 classroom sessions and 15 live webinars. The training schedule for 2014 is complete with monthly classroom sessions and monthly live webinars.
  • Conducted inspections of County owned and maintained drywells. Recommendations were turned over to Facilities Maintenance for required repairs and for best practices repairs. These repairs help reduce regulatory liability and general liability for the County. Several drywells were discovered that were not previously inventoried or inspected.
  • Assisted the Medical Examiner’s Office with the packaging and disposal of 8,400 jars containing human tissue and formalin (aqueous formaldehyde). Recommendations resulted in a significant reduction in possible employee exposures and saved over 100 employee labor hours.
  • Assisted Facilities Management in the control, management and disposal of 17 radiation storage containers dug up at one of their projects. Luckily, the material was long past its half-life and no radiation hazards were detected.
  • Assisted Facilities Management, Superior Courts, Real Estate, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), Juvenile and Adult Probation, Flood Control District, Legal Defender, Environmental Services, Equipment Services, Emergency Management, OET, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Assessor, Agricultural Exchange, WIC, Waste Resources and Recycling, Public Health, Medical Examiner, Parks, Equipment Services and the Library District in environmental studies, hazardous waste reviews and clean-ups, and conducting indoor air quality review, asbestos and lead paint surveys.
  • Continued to provide sound environmental compliance information to requesting departments.

The Division recognizes that environmental risks are capable of being managed through risk control and prevention measures. These measures include separation of hazardous materials, effective pollution prevention and loss control techniques, redundant controls and safety mechanisms, double and triple containment of tanks and flow tubes, emergency response plans, and effective training of employees. The Division will continue to seek to implement these measures.

 Other Environmental Division Activities:
  • Providing internal environmental and technical consulting services to other County departments, including Phase I, limited Phase II assessments, and technical review of environmental issues identify and remedy potential liabilities for regulation compliance.
  • Continual refinement of the environmental report database and project cost spreadsheets.
  • Recovery of monies from former insurance carriers, state assurance trusts, and liability settlement trusts.
  • Providing citizens with information regarding compliance and providing assistance in contacting the appropriate Federal, State, and/or Local agency.
 Links: Environmental Compliance

For access to Code of Federal Regulations, CLICK HERE

For access to Arizona Regulations and Statutes, CLICK HERE

Last updated:18 Dec, 2013, jpr

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