State & Local Briefs

DEQ study concludes half of Tucsonans are unhappy with city air

TUCSON Half of Tucson residents think the city's air visibility is getting worse and are willing to pay to help clean it up, according to a survey.

The study, commissioned by the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality, concluded that half of Tucson households are willing to spend $75 or more a year on initiatives to improve our air visibility.

Only 22 percent are unwilling to spend money on such measures.

John Bernardo, county DEQ program manager, said the study was a follow-up to public discussions of environmental issues held countywide in 1993.

Bernardo said the $17,200 study was paid for by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Associated Press

Officials shut down Mesa air bag plant

MESA City fire officials ordered the temporary shutdown yesterday of an automobile safety air bag plant that has been the site of 17 explosions in the past 12 months.

Mesa Fire Chief John Oliver notified TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc. that it must immediately halt all its operations related to the processing of sodium azide, a volatile chemical used to deploy air bags.

TRW will be allowed to resume operations after they submit a plan that ensures the safety of its employees and city residents.

Thomas W. Cresante, vice president of operations for TRW's plants here, said the company would comply with the order and hopefully resolve the issue with the city within the next few days.

The Associated Press

Dial Corp. planning to lay off 700 employees

PHOENIX Following the lead of other household product companies to cut costs and stay competitive, the Dial Corp. announced yesterday it will lay off 700 employees, shut down six plants and phase out its Purex liquid bleach line.

The company's five-year-old Lunch Buckets line of microwave meals is another casualty of the cost-cutting move.

Dial said the move would result in a $130 million charge against third-quarter profit.

The layoffs will be largely in older Purex plants, said John Teets, chairman and chief executive officer of the company behind such household names as Dial soap, Breck shampoo, and Renuzit air fresheners.

Teets refused to detail which plants would be closed or where the layoffs would take place because employees were being notified yesterday and today.

The plants are among those that Dial acquired in 1985 when it bought Purex.

The layoffs amount to a 15 percent workforce reduction in the consumer products division. Dial's total workforce is 32,000.

''Everything we're doing here is protecting our brands in the marketplace, continuing to be the low-

Read Next Article