The state honored UniSource for going above-and-beyond to promote environmental stewardship at its Santa Cruz County power plant.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) gave a bronze-level certificate in the Voluntary Environmental Stewardship Program (VESP) to the Valencia Power Plant in Nogales. The natural gas-powered facility  generates electricity for the Southern Arizona region.

ADEQ representatives visited the Nogales plant to present the award to UniSource and TEP employees on July 6.

VESP recognizes companies and organizations that have strong environmental records by meeting or exceeding their respective air, water and waste compliance regulations for three consecutive years, per Arizona law. Those regulations range from making sure waste is managed properly to confirming that the gas turbines meet emissions limitations.

“ADEQ is proud to recognize facilities like the Valencia Power Plant that put in the time and resources to consistently deliver strong compliance results, said Len Drago, ADEQ VESP Program Coordinator.

ADEQ seeks out companies with strong historical compliance records when recognizing bronze level members. Two to five recipients are chosen monthly.

Mirna Leon-Galligan, an Environmental Supervisor who oversees UniSource’s powerplants, said she initially thought she’d received a phishing email, since UniSource didn’t apply for this award. It came as a pleasant surprise, she said.

“It’s important to us that we’re good neighbors in communities and obviously, we’re very interested in making sure our environmental laws are followed to the T. We go beyond what they ask us to do,” Mirna said.

Dylan Bearce, Director of Tucson Power Production, said he’s proud of the environmental, maintenance and operations teams that work collaboratively to ensure full compliance at the Valencia Power Plant.

Find more information about the ADEQ program.

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