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EPA Approves Arizona Pollutant Discharge Permits Program

Release Date: 12/5/2002
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, U.S. EPA, (415) 947-4248

Arizona Becomes the 45th State With Regulatory Authority

    SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today approved Arizona's application to administer and enforce the pollutant discharge permits program, under the federal Clean Water Act.

    The move will give the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality the authority to regulate facilities and municipalities that discharge pollutants into surface waters of the United States.

     The Arizona Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program permits contain limits on what can be discharged, monitoring and reporting requirements, and other provisions to ensure that water quality and human health are protected.  

     Currently, there are 200 permits of which approximately 40 are renewed annually.

     "This move represents a win for Arizona citizens and businesses," said Karen Smith, director of ADEQ's Water Quality Division. "The public benefits from our consolidated oversight of water pollution control activities, and businesses benefit from reduced permit costs. As a result of this agreement, ADEQ will be in a much better position to issue timely permits and also to enforce laws that protect the quality of Arizona's water resources."    

     "This approval puts the program in the hands of those most familiar with the environmental issues and the people of the state," said Wayne Nastri, the EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. "The EPA is confident that the state  will do a great job administering the program and will continue to protect our precious water resources."

     Prior to the shift, the EPA issued permits to all facilities that discharged pollutants to surface waters in Arizona.  The new delegation authority allows the ADEQ to issue permits and take action on any violations within the state.

     The agreement represents more than two years of work, which required the state to demonstrate to the EPA that it has sufficient legal authority and ability to implement and enforce the Arizona Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit program.

     ADEQ will continue to work closely with the EPA to ensure that the Clean Water Act requirements are met.  The EPA will review draft permits prepared by the state, oversee program requirements and performance, review proposed changes to state laws and rules related to the program, as well as  review compliance actions.

     The Arizona permitting program will cover all areas within the state except for those in Indian country, where the EPA retains jurisdiction.

     For more information on the Arizona wastewater discharge permit program delegation, visit the EPA Web site at: