On September 19, 2007, new state air quality laws took effect. These new regulations directly impact the city’s efforts to control dust on unpaved roads. In addition, the number of inspectors enforcing stricter rules has dramatically increased. The city is beginning the process of responding to the changes in regulations and enforcement. As a first step in this process, the city once again seeks input from those citizens most directly impacted by these changes.
There are a number of ways for citizens to provide input. Please complete this survey to assist the city’s citizen Environmental Quality Advisory Board as they formulate recommendations to Mayor/Council on unpaved road dust control. Thank you.
EXISTING POLICY: Since 2000, the City’s policy has been to retain existing, unpaved roads in an area of the northern part of the city where citizens enjoy equestrian use and want to preserve the natural environment. Laws require dust control for any unpaved road with more than 150 average daily trips. The city annually budgets approximately $1.5 million to control dust on 15 miles of unpaved roads that meet that criteria. A dust palliative (environmentally responsible dust control product) is applied multiple times per year to these unpaved roads. An additional 16 miles of unpaved roads are graded periodically. The remaining unpaved roads are left in an unimproved or “primitive” condition. Since 2000, about 6 miles of unpaved roads have been paved because traffic volume was so heavy, dust palliatives were no longer a feasible option.
Mayor/Council has annually budgeted sufficient resources for city crews to go beyond the regulations and apply dust palliatives to additional unpaved roads. Citizens routinely contact the city with concerns about unpaved road dust as a nuisance and their perceived health concerns. The city has received two Notices to Correct from enforcement inspectors, since 2000, for failure to adequately control dust on unpaved roads.
STRICTER LAWS: Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions, the recently enacted Senate Bill 1552 (SB 1552) and strengthened Maricopa County Air Quality Department rules and enforcement capability, have resulted in a stricter set of rules on unpaved road dust control. The following survey requests your opinion on how to meet these more stringent air quality requirements.
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