During the call to the public at the September 6th Pinal County Board of Supervisors, Brad Cole, representing Johnson Utilities L.L.C., gave an update on the air quality issues San Tan Valley residents have been dealing with.
Cole stated that an Order of Abatement by Consent was executed between Pinal County Air Quality and Johnson Utilities L.L.C., August 21st. This action came after the Board of Supervisors studied a potential lawsuit against the utility company after numerous violations of the county's Air Quality Control District Code of Regulations. The Order of Abatement by Consent is a negotiated settlement between parties intended to resolve violations, provide compliance, and avoid further litigation. The Notice of Violations from June 2016 to June 2017 have been resolved with the signing of this agreement.
Since that date, Johnson Utilities L.L.C. has been in "complete compliance" with zero air quality violations reported. Johnson Utilities L.L.C. has also started sending the county, air quality reports every Friday.
Cole also mentioned that the mechanical plant is still being transitioned to replace the existing plant and they are continuing to work on a written compliance plan to address potential issues in the future. This plan is due 60 days after the signing of the Order of Abatement by Consent and implementation of that plan within 180 days. If deadlines are not met, Johnson Utilities L.L.C. will pay a stipulated penalty of $250 for the first five business days; $500 for the following five business days and $1,000 per business day after that.
Pinal County had the ability under the law to impose up to $10,000 a day X 125 days of violations equaling $1,250,000 in fines. The Board of Supervisors however agreed to a settlement payment in the amount of $20,000 which is due by September 18, 2017.
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