Citizen Mobilization

Perhaps one of the most significant outcomes of ENSCO is citizen mobilization and action. “Ordinary” individuals became citizen scientists, political strategists, and networked with national groups to learn more about the risks of incineration, state and federal laws and regulations, EPA oversight, and facility siting. Citizens also circulated a petition to create a ballot initiative to amend the hazardous waste facility language in the Arizona Revised Statutes (amending ARS Title 49, 1990 & another petition RE enviro protection, 1990).  In protesting ENSCO, individuals often discovered other issues in their backyard that demanded their participation and oversight, such as wildlife and public lands protection.

With the exception of Dr. Mary Clifford’s case study in her text, Environmental Crime, ENSCO is largely ignored in the social science literature. Citizen mobilization against ENSCO, however, changed the face of Arizona environmental politics.


The Groups

American Hydrogen Association:  ENSCO & alternatives, review by Roy McAlister, P.E.

Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste (CCHW), now Center for Health, Environment & Justice, and the book that started it all:  How to Deal With a Proposed Facility, 1986 (CHEJ has a newer edition published in 2009).

Concerned Citizens of Arizona: Flyer for the initiative petition | Initiative 26 I 90 Misrepresentations & paid petitioners | Stop incinerators now T-shirt designed by Spider:

    The T-shirt in action, May 7, 1990  | Wanted flyer | Will you be part of the solution? flyer.

Concerned Citizens of South Mountain:  CCSSM_newsletter, September 19, 1990.

Don’t Waste Arizona: Greenpeace-DWA factsheet | Kids who care flyer | No more toxics flyer.

Greenpeace: Articles @ google news archive | The toxic threat to Indian lands (Brad Angel, 1991) |  18 arrests @ Mobile hearing

National Toxics Campaign: The Vertac incinerator in Jacksonville, Arkansas  (also see Rachel’s Haz Waste News).

Sierra Club: Open letter to state legislators (1991).


Short Legislative History of SB 1033

Senate Bill 1033 (35th Legislature, first session, 1981) authorized “the acquisition of a hazardous waste disposal site.”  For information, view the following documents:

  • Senate to inform the House that it has passed SENATE BILL 1033, February 12, 1980.
  • Committee on Health Welfare, and Aging  discussing 1033 , January 27, 1981.
  • Senate Engrossed Bill.
  • Appropriations Committee & Roll Call sb1033, February 6, 1981.
  • Floor Amendment Sheet, February 19, 1981 | Rep. Donna Carlson West’s objection to SB1033.

ENSCO Siting & Permitting Docs

For historical research purposes, I’ve scanned various Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (AZDEQ), Arizona Department of Health Services, ENSCO, and Environmental Protection Agency docs. Many of these docs are not available at Hayden Library, Arizona State University either in gov docs, special collections, and archives.


Department of  Health Services


Environmental Protection Agency