North Indian Bend Groundwater Treatment Facility Press Conference (March 2014)

North Indian Bend Groundwater Treatment Facility Press Conference (March 2014)


Good afternoon everyone. I would like to thank everyone for joining us today, to celebrate this important accomplishment. We would not be here today without tremendous collaboration, teamwork and a tireless commitment to a common goal from a number of agencies, as well as the public. So thank you all. The system in place today uses available groundwater for public use, while maintaining clean capture, and expediting clean up. This is a positive approach for a hazardous waste site in the state with limited natural resources. As a desert state prone to drought, Arizona is not only conscious of how important resource conservation is, but we actively work to ensure that every drop of groundwater that could be used for profitable purposes is available. In some cases, like the North Indian Bend Wash Superfund Site, that means restoring a contaminated supply source That provides more than three and-a-half billion gallons a year. This is water that probably would have had to come from some other source, in a parched state like Arizona, we simply cannot be frivolous with such precious natural resources. We must fight to protect them, and when necessary, recover them for beneficial use. At the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, we are placing a renewed emphasis on accelerating environmental clean ups. In fact, this is one of our three overarching goals in the agency’s five year strategic plan. Accelerating clean ups makes sense for environmental protection. It reduces the overall cost of the life of a project, and puts properties back into productive use sooner. Even more important, accelerating clean up is something citizens have come to expect. For in the age of Apple and Amazon, where everything is transparent and instantaneous, citizens have little empathy for government agencies that diddle or dither. At ADEQ, we are committed simply to doing more environmental good. And we are constantly on the look out for the fastest, best and most cost-effective ways to reach this goal line. We actually see ourselves becoming a national leader in providing balanced, leading-edge environmental protection, while offering radical simplicity for both our customers and staff. We know we’re not going to reach or vision by being slow or sloppy. With our eyes fixed firmly on the horizon, we have undertaken in recent years several new initiatives. To restore and build capacity within our program, we are deploying LEAN management, principles and tactics to reduce waste and radically simplify our systems and processes. We are leveraging e-technology to provide customers not only faster, more economical service, but also to enable them to comply more quickly and effectively with environmental regulations. Perhaps more important, we are working on numerous fronts to unleash the potential of our employees, our most valuable assets. For two and-a-half decades, the men and women of ADEQ have dedicated themselves to the noble cause of environmental stewardship. They have helped us respect the delicate balance between the natural world and the people who depend on it for sustenance, prosperity and a rewarding quality of life. More importantly, they have served diligently and passionately to protect Arizona’s bounty for generations to come. I am proud to be a part of what is happening at ADEQ today. Last year we celebrated the closure of Arizona’s first state superfund site. More successes like this are coming, and state and local leaders are starting to take notice. ADEQ is an organization committed to technical and operational excellence as we deliver the finest quality service in all of our endeavors.

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