Don't Waste Arizona, Inc
The first newsletter "
The Environmental Justice Explorer"
Quality Printed Circuits (QPC) facility
Felicia Marcus, EPA Region IX Administrator
March 5, 1996
United States Environmental Protection Agency
75 Hawthorne Street
San Fancisco, CA 94105
Dear Region IX Administrator Marcus:
We are writing to ask your assistance on a very grave situation affecting the health and environment of a largely poor and minority community in South Phoenix as the result of a large industrial fire at the Quality Printed Circuits (QPC) facility in August 1992. The State of Arizona's Departments of Environmental Quality and Health Services took the lead on QPC, but due to a great deal of political pressure, these agencies have closed the case although the community continues to suffer. Although ATSDR made initial inquiries into the incident, the agency appears to have done so without any specific information about what chemicals were actually involved in the fire, never asked any of the residents for specific medical data, never completed a health survey, and relied only on the state for its data. EPA was never actively involved and continues to defer to ADEQ.
Because enforcement of the provisions of EPCRA 304 and CERCLA 103 largely lies with EPA, we prevailed in holding a meeting with Lauren Volpini, USEPA EPCRA Compliance & Enforcement Program Manager, and Daniel Roe, Executive Director of the Arizona Emergency Response Commission, on February 28, 1996. Along with members of the affected community (members of Concerned Residents of South Phoenix [CRSP]), we met at the Division of Emergency Management. We provided Ms. Volpini with evidence of enforceable violations against QPC and look very much forward to the findings of an EPA investigation. In addition to taking enforcement action for Right-To-Know and release reporting violations, we desperately want direct EPA involvement to identify and resolve the current state of contamination of the affected community as a result of the fire and the significant release of extremely hazardous substances.
Ms. Marcus, DWA and its member organization CRSP, have evaluated sampling data taken by state agencies and by QPC; we have QPC reports which indicate what hazardous materials were involved in the fire; we have recently inspected homes with air ducts oozing contaminated residuals; and we have data indicating the mortality rate in the affected census tract has had a "statistically significant" increase for all years since the QPC fire.
We urgently request you to personally take an interest into the plight of this community, and we are ready to meet with you at your earliest convenience. Together, with your help, we can require QPC to comply with its Right-To-Know requirements, inform the community as to what substances they were exposed to from this fire, identify what contaminants continue to plague area homes, and compel QPC to clean them up. Please contact me at (602) 268-6110 so that I and other area representatives may make arrangements to visit San Francisco and/or brief you on the worsening situation of the area residents and the commitment of DWA and CRSP to resolve their problems.
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