Tuesday, 31 July 2007 10:00

Arizona agency awards grants for vehicle removal program

Arizona’s Gila Watershed Partnership has been awarded two separate grants to address the problem of abandoned vehicles in Graham County according to Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Steve Owens.

The partnership is receiving a $99,000 grant from ADEQ’s recycling program to help deal with and clean up 120 tons of abandoned automobiles in GrahamCounty. It also is receiving a $77,150 water quality improvement grant from ADEQ to remove 400 abandoned vehicles from washes along the Gila River in the county. In conjunction with Graham County and the City of Safford, the partnership will use the funds to identify abandoned vehicles, obtain titles, tow the vehicles to a salvage yard, remove hazardous fluids and parts containing hazardous material and hire a salvage company to crush and recycle the metal.

“Old abandoned vehicles are a huge problem in Graham County,” Director Owens said. “We have been working closely with the Gila Watershed Partnership and local officials over the last several years to fight illegal dumping, remove junk vehicles and reduce the threats they present to the community.”

Owens further noted that the Gila Watershed Partnership has received water quality improvement grants in the past from ADEQ for various projects, but this is first time the Partnership has received funding from ADEQ’s recycling program. “This is a great way to use our resources to help the community deal with the problem of abandoned vehicles and illegal dumping, as well as promote recycling of the parts and materials in the vehicles.

“Combining the money from these two separate programs to address this problem helps maximize the impact of the grants and support the terrific work of the Partnership and the local officials to the greatest extent possible.”