Glossary


Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) - The executive agency of the Arizona state government mandated to enforce and administer the state's environmental laws and regulations.

CERCLA-The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, was enacted by Congress on December 11, 1980. This law provided broad Federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment.

Contaminant - Any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance present in any media at concentrations or levels that may result in adverse effects to air, water, or soil or that could be harmful to humans.

Contamination - The presence of any contaminant, including hazardous substances, in groundwater, surface water or soil above a regulatory level.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - A federal agency established in 1970 by the White House and Congress to respond to the public demand for cleaner water, air, and land.

Feasibility Study (FS) - An in-depth study designed to evaluate the remedial alternatives that may be implemented to clean up the site.

Groundwater - Water found beneath the earth's surface that fills pores between materials such as sand, clay, or gravel. In aquifers, groundwater occurs in sufficient quantities that can be used for drinking water, irrigation and other purposes.

Hazardous Substance - Any material that, because of its quantity, concentration, or physical or chemical characteristics, poses a significant present or potential hazard to human health and safety, or to the environment.

Plume - The area where a contaminant has spread from its original point of discharge. Plumes in groundwater are identified by sampling the groundwater and analyzing it for the presence of contamination.

Remediation - Actions taken to treat the release or threat of release of a hazardous substance that could affect people or the environment. The term cleanup  is sometimes used interchangeably with the terms remedial action, removal actions, response actions, remedy, remediation, or corrective action.

Remedial Investigation (RI) - An in-depth study designed to gather the data necessary to determine the nature and extent of contamination at a site.

Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE) - A commonly used technique to clean up contaminated soils. SVE draws air through contaminated soils and the contaminants are transferred to the air. The contaminated air is then treated or
discharged, depending on the amount and type of contamination present.

Solvent - Chemical products, usually liquid, that are used to dissolve other substances.

Superfund Site - Any land in the United States that has been contaminated by hazardous substances and identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a candidate for cleanup because it poses a risk to human health and/or the environment.

Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) - A group of compounds that evaporate easily at room temperature such as TCE, PCE, benzene, and toluene and are typically used for metal degreasing, circuit board cleaning, dry cleaning, wood preserving and in gasoline.

Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF) - A program administered by ADEQ to conduct statewide surface and groundwater monitoring, study health effects, perform emergency remedial actions and conduct long-term remedial action programs. WQARF is also referred to as Arizona's “State Superfund.”

West Van Buren Area WQARF Site (WVBA) - One of Arizona's State Superfund Sites which was first listed on November 13, 1987. The Site is located in West Phoenix and is bordered on the North by McDowell Road; by Buckeye and Lower Buckeye Road on the South; 7th Avenue on the East and 79th Avenue on the West.