FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 16, 2023
Senator Wadsack calls on Governor Hobbs to Issue an Immediate State of Emergency to Address I-10 Hazardous Chemical Spill
PHOENIX, ARIZONA— In the wake of Tuesday's hazardous chemical spill caused by a deadly rollover crash that shutdown the I-10 in Southern Arizona and forced an evacuation, residents and motorists who were in the vicinity are now experiencing serious health effects from the fumes.
As a result, Senator Justine Wadsack is calling on Governor Katie Hobbs to address this concerning situation immediately by issuing a State of Emergency.
Local authorities closed Kolb and Rita Roads in both directions and issued shelter-in-place orders for residents within a three-mile radius. Those who were within a half-mile vicinity of the crash were evacuated. The Department of Public Safety ordered residents and motorists to shut off heat and air conditioning systems that were pulling in air from the outside in an effort to prevent the fumes from making people sick.
The chemical was identified by Tucson Fire Department as nitric acid, which is described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a highly corrosive material that can irritate the skin, eyes and mucous membrane if exposed.
"I'm hearing from constituents in the area who are currently experiencing respiratory issues, including coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing," said Senator Wadsack. "How on earth do we know that the air quality is currently safe for our residents? Where is Governor Hobbs on this crisis? We need an immediate State of Emergency declared by her office for this area impacted in Southern Arizona. We need medical resources and air quality experts deployed right away. My constituents are terrified, and we are calling on the Governor to do her job. Public health is in danger, and she's asleep at the wheel. I will be traveling to this area to assess this situation as soon as possible, and I encourage her to do the same."
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus