PHOENIX — Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) officials announced today that the City of St. Johns has joined the ADEQ Small Communities Environmental Compliance Assistance Program (SCECAP).
SCECAP is a statewide program designed to help small cities, towns and special districts comply with state and federal environmental regulations. Smaller cities, towns, and special water and wastewater districts often lack resources and staff to sustain compliance with state and federal environmental laws, so ADEQ began this voluntary program in 2007 to help these, mostly rural, communities affordably protect their public health and air, land and water resources.
With the addition of the City of St. Johns, SCECAP members include the following municipalities: Taylor, Holbrook, Show Low, Springerville, Eagar, Winslow, Snowflake, and Huachuca City. Sanitary Districts of Naco and Pinetop-Lakeside also participate in the program.
As part of the SCECAP, St. Johns agrees to perform a compliance evaluation to identify environmental laws that apply to city operations, promptly disclose and correct environmental violations if they occur and prepare a Small Community Environmental Protection Plan (SCEPP). A SCEPP establishes policies, management programs and standard operating procedures for addressing environmental concerns. In doing so, the city will be eligible for up to a 100 percent penalty reduction if it has future environmental violations.
“We are committed to helping small communities in the state achieve and maintain environmental compliance,” said ADEQ Director Misael Cabrera. “We congratulate St. Johns for being a leader in the effort to reduce its environmental footprint and hope other small municipalities and wastewater and water districts join the program.”
City of St Johns Interim Manager Paul Ramsey added, “The City of St. Johns is pleased to partner with ADEQ in this endeavor as we focus on maintaining compliance with environmental laws. Our participation in Arizona’s Small Communities Environmental Compliance Assistance Program will help us with continuous improvement and sustaining a high quality of life for our residents.”
In 2015, City of St. Johns staff moved into the new City Hall – the outcome of redeveloping a brownfields property by working with ADEQ Brownfields, State Lead UST and Voluntary Remediation Programs to leverage its expertise and obtain grant funds to cleanup and remove a leaking underground storage tank and asbestos.
ADEQ Programs Overview
Established in 2007 with funding from the Environmental Council of States, ADEQ Small Communities Environmental Compliance Assistance Program is a statewide voluntary program that assists cities, small towns and special water and wastewater districts with complying with state and federal environmental laws and reducing the number of violations and enforcement actions. For more information, please visit: http://www.azdeq.gov/function/compliance/smallcomm.html
Brownfields are properties with active redevelopment potential hindered by known or perceived environmental contamination. Since it began in 2003, ADEQ’s brownfields grant program has funded more than 50 projects assisting local governments and nonprofits in completing environmental assessments and cleanup. ADEQ’s brownfields grant program awards qualifying applications on a first come, first served basis and conducts projects through Arizona’s State Response Grant using funds provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For more information please visit: http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/waste/cleanup/brownfields.html
ADEQ’s Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP) allows property owners, prospective purchasers and other interested parties to work in cooperation with ADEQ to streamline investigation and cleanup of contaminated sites and obtain sign-off from all relevant ADEQ programs. ADEQ’s VRP has successfully completed more than 200 site closures since Arizona’s VRP laws came into effect in 2000. For more information, please visit: https://www.azdeq.gov/environ/waste/cleanup/vrp.html
State Lead UST
Established in 1989, ADEQ State Lead Underground Storage Tank (UST) program manages projects, address releases of regulated substances (petroleum) from UST systems and takes corrective actions. Projects include site assessments, off-site investigation, remediation, risk assessment, and UST removal. Program projects are prioritized based on threat to public health and the environment and contracted in accordance with state procurement requirements, which uses a bid process among State-Contracted Vendors. For more information, please visit: http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/waste/ust/index.html