By Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
Governor Doug Ducey announced funding in the Fiscal Year 2021 proposed budget for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to increase awareness about what we can all do to improve air quality. While emissions have steadily decreased across Arizona, more than 60 percent since the 1990s due to more stringent regulations on industry and fuel economy in vehicles, ozone levels in the Phoenix area remain above the federal standard set in 2015. These standards protect the most vulnerable populations from air pollution, which are children, elderly and people with asthma or other respiratory diseases. It’s a problem that touches nearly every family in the Valley.
The good news is that together we can make a difference! The main source of pollution is from our vehicles. Over 50 percent of ozone created from man-made pollution in the Phoenix area is from driving on our roads. By increasing awareness regarding options to reduce travel, each one of us can contribute to solving this problem.
“Support for this funding in the legislature is essential, as it will help ADEQ effectively and efficiently engage our partners — the residents of Arizona — in helping solve the air pollution problem,” said Daniel Czecholinski, ADEQ Air Quality Division Director. “It is critical that we all work to reduce miles traveled on our roads and make the best decisions for the health of our residents.”
Monies for improvements to the Vehicle Emissions Inspection program are also part of the budget proposal. These inspections are mandated by federal law in areas of nonattainment for air quality standards, such as Phoenix and Tucson, and help these areas address vehicle emissions contributing to that pollution.
FY 2021 Budget – The Arizona Way
ADEQ already has programs in place and others in development to help address pollution problems in Arizona, including:
Voluntary Vehicle Repair Program
Get up to $550 for repairs to your vehicle
Since 2018, 2782 vehicles have been repaired, saving owners more than $1.3 million and eliminating more than 560 tons of emissions.
Lawn and Garden Emission Reduction Program
Trade in your gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment for a voucher toward the purchase of an electric alternative (available in Maricopa County and Pima County)
Electric Vehicle Project
In addition to the smaller amount of emissions produced from charging, an electric vehicle produces zero tailpipe emissions.
Qualifying buyers in Arizona can get up to $3,500 off a new Nissan LEAF®
Air Quality Flag Program
Brightly colored flags raise awareness for air quality conditions within the community.
Fly a flag at your school, business or organization
Be Air Aware
5 Things You Can Do To Improve Air Quality
Air Arizona mobile app with hour-by-hour air quality forecasts for Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma and Nogales
Idle Reduction Program | Coming Soon
Helps school districts implement smart idling practices to better protect children’s health by improving air quality around schools. Best practices also helps driers save money on fuel and wear-and-tear on engines.