PRESS RELEASE | Year in review 2021 | ADEQ works for the protection of the environment, the public health of all Arizonas

PHÉNIX (Dec. 31, 2021) – This year, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) took key steps to protect the environment and the health of all Arizona residents.

“This year, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality continued to meet unprecedented challenges and we are protecting Arizona’s public health and valuable and unique natural resources better than ever,” said Misael Cabrera, PE, Director of ADEQ. “Our culture of continuous improvement fosters innovation. and helped us achieve positive results for the mission and save results for the people of Arizona and our environment. “

Act and react during an ongoing pandemic

  • In 2021, ADEQ completed the transition of 80% of its staff to teleworking. Office consolidation in 2021, combined with office consolidation before the 2015 pandemic, saves the state of Arizona $ 1.5 million in annual rent expenses each year and has reduced the footprint of the 90,000 square foot agency.
  • ADEQ’s hybrid workforce has demonstrated its ability to pursue effective and efficient regulatory oversight and inspections of licensed facilities. In 2021, ADEQ carried out the highest number of facility inspections in the agency’s history. As of December 28, 2021, ADEQ had carried out 4,478 inspections.
  • In 2021, ADEQ compliance officers and inspectors responded to more than 900 environmental complaints, a 18% increase compared to 2020.

Protect the Arizonans and our environment – Major achievements

  • Air quality forecast – Expanded hourly air quality forecasts for the communities of Douglas, Flagstaff, Hayden, Miami, Prescott and Rillito. Today, all areas with air quality issues receive daily and hourly forecasts so Arizona residents can make informed decisions about their health.
  • Posted 52 Forest fire smoke forecast for communities in the areas of the Tussock and Tiger wildfires near Crown King, the Mescal and Telegraph wildfires near Miami / Globe, the Backbone wildfire near Pine / Strawberry, and the Rafael wildfire in the south- is from Williams.
  • Voluntary Vehicle Repair Program (VVRP) – Changes to the VVRP have increased the number of vehicles eligible for the program and now record number of motorists take advantage of Cleaner Air program.
  • brownfields – Allocated $ 528,000 to 12 communities to complete 16 projects aimed at revitalizing and transforming dilapidated properties into dynamic usable space while reducing environmental risks and returning more than 80 acres to productive use.
  • Recycling – Continued to build and support partnerships with counties, cities, environmental groups, private businesses, nonprofits and other interested people in Arizona to address recycling challenges and expand the educational awareness through The Biggest Reducer Video Series.
  • the Revolving Fund for Water Quality Assurance (WQARF) program treated 11.6 billion gallons of groundwater and removed 12,254 pounds of volatile organic compounds and approximately 640 tonnes of metals and hazardous waste and for the first time in the history of WQARF, ADEQ moved all the sites listed from the corrective investigation phase to the feasibility study phase of the process.
  • implemented on Arizona Surface Water Protection Program and its Protected Surface Water List which specifies all waters protected by the Clean Water Act and the New National Surface Water Protection Program – 883 rivers, streams and lakes essential for drinking, recreation and fish consumption. Signed by Governor Ducey on May 5, 2021, House Bill 2691 is the first Arizona-specific water quality protection legislation enacted since the Aquifer Protection Program in 1991.
  • Over $ 928,000 from the Small Water Systems Fund has been awarded to eight small public water systems by the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority on the recommendation of ADEQ. These systems, which serve nearly 2,000 people in rural Arizona, have used the funding to solve public health problems.
  • Arizona Water Emergency Team activated to respond to 26 water-related emergencies and facilitate immediate relief to water providers and their customers in the event of imminent threats to health and safety. public security.

Customer Service and Experience – Continuous expansion of online services

ADEQ’s award-winning myDEQ permitting and reporting portal reduced permitting times by more than 95% and helped facilities become compliant more than 50% faster, with an economic benefit annual estimated at over $ 190 million per year. ADEQ now offers 50% of eligible services online with myDEQ. Key services launched in 2021 include online customer portals for surface burning permits and underground storage tanks.

ADEQ has made considerable progress in addressing the threat of emerging contaminants of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in groundwater, preventing PFAS contamination, and keeping the public and stakeholders informed.

  • Conducted an expedited investigation, designed and built a pilot demonstration remedy to prevent a plume of PFAS from reaching the city of Tucson’s central wellfield (see CTPP). Construction was completed in December 2021 and the system is working.
  • Continued screening of high-risk public drinking water systems throughout the state and advising affected industries of adverse effects on public health and the environment.
  • Collaborated with the governor’s office to grant $ 2 million to Tucson Water so they can restart the Tucson area sanitation project processing plant.
  • Hit a Environmental Services Agreement with the Air Force Civil Engineer Center for initial US Air Force funding of $ 1.7 million for the CTPP.

National awards 2021

For more information on ADEQ’s performance indicators and results, visit:

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Contact

ADEQ Public Information Officer 602-540-8072 | Email>

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