Good news for clean water in Arizona! The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has officially suspended its efforts to take over a key part of the federal Clean Water Act. According to the ADEQ website:
In 2018, ADEQ began a collaborative stakeholder process to draft a roadmap for Arizona to assume the Clean Water Act Section 404 Permitting program. Almost 500 people engaged by attending stakeholder meetings, participating in work groups and providing over 2,100 comments. The majority of stakeholder input supported retaining the current process.
Based on this, ADEQ has decided not to continue pursuing state assumption of the 404 permitting program. Stakeholder engagement is an integral part of the potential development of any program, and the Department appreciates the participation of so many people sharing their perspectives.
In November 2019, CSDP was a part of a coalition of environmental groups that submitted a letter to ADEQ urging them to suspend their efforts to take over the 404 permitting process under the Clean Water Act, which protects our waterways from pollution, degradation and disturbance by industrial and development projects. On December 4, 2019, this coalition of groups issued a press release praising this decision by ADEQ.
According to Sandy Bahr, chapter director for Sierra Club – Grand Canyon (Arizona) Chapter, “Arizona’s waters, including those—and perhaps especially those—with limited water should be afforded the highest levels of protection. Plants, animals, cultural resources, and the public interest must be top priorities in considering permits to alter our waters. We are pleased that the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is not moving forward with the program without the necessary strong public review and involvement process and better and stronger cultural and natural resource protections.”
Thank you for supporting our advocacy for clean water in the Sonoran Desert – our voices can make a difference!
Tags: 404 permitting, ADEQ, clean water, clean water act, water