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Air

Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) has regulatory authority for air quality within Pima County including municipalities as an Air Quality Control District , with the exception of the Tohono O'Odham, Pasqua Yaqui and San Xavier Indian Reservations established pursuant to applicable provisions of the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.), Arizona Administrative Code (A.A.C.), Pima County Code (PCC), Federal Environmental Statutes, delegation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) via the Clean Air Act, and by delegation from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). PDEQ regulates ambient outdoor air quality according to rules codified in Title 17 of the Pima County Code, conducts Air Quality Monitoring and provides Community Education about air quality issues.Inspection

Sources of Air Pollution Requiring Permits

PDEQ issues air quality operating permits to facilities known as Stationary Sources which may be any building, structure or installation subject to regulation which emits or may emit air pollution. These facilities must comply with the conditions in their operating permits to limit air pollution. The tab below for Stationary Sources includes information regarding Operating Permits and Compliance Guidance for these sources. Other sources of air pollution include Fugitive Dust, Asbestos and Open Burning, which are also regulated by PDEQ.  Air quality regulations lay out the requirements and process for the application and issuance of an air quality permit.

Find a Source and View its Permit

PDEQ maintains a searchable database of stationary sources within Pima County. This database also contains links to pertinent air quality permitting documents for each permit.

Permits

The following direct links will allow access to the permit application process for each type of air permit. Tabs above also contain comprehensive information on each subject, including permit applicability.
Air Quality Permits & Tailings Dust documents regarding Air Quality information for Copper Mines within Pima County are available for review.

Air Quality Permit and Related Documentation regarding Air Quality information for Materion Ceramics, Inc. (previously Brush Ceramic Products, Inc. are available for review.

Stationary Sources

Information on permitting and compliance guidance for stationary sources can be found in the sections below.

Air Quality Operating Permits

Air quality operating permits include a listing of all air pollution regulatory requirements that apply to the source. The program clarifies the air pollution control obligations of facilities by compiling in one document all of a source's compliance requirements. The intent is that by including all applicable requirements in one permit it will be easier for the source owner, the regulatory agency, and the public to determine if the source is in compliance.

Compliance Guidance for Stationary Sources

Stationary sources with air quality operating permits typically have testing and reporting requirements written into their permits, or have these requirements as a result of an applicable industry-based standard contained in 40 CFR Part 60 (New Source Performance Standards - NSPS) or Part 63 (National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants - NESHAP).   More information on Compliance Guidance for Stationary Sources includes:  

  • Stack testing
  • Compliance certification reporting
  • Summary monitoring reporting
  • Excess emissions reporting
  • Permit deviation reporting

Fugitive Dust

Fugitive dust is particulate matter which becomes airborne, is not emitted from a stack or vent, and has the potential to adversely affect human health or the environment.  High levels of dust particles often originate from agricultural, mining, construction and manufacturing activities.  PDEQ protects air quality by regulating fugitive dust emissions and inspecting dust-producing activities and sites. 

More information on Fugitive Dust includes:

Asbestos NESHAP

PDEQ administers their asbestos program having adopted by reference in Pima County Code the Asbestos NESHAP (National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants).  The program's intent is to minimize the release of asbestos-containing material.  The regulations require the owner of the building and/or the operator to notify PDEQ before any demolition, or before renovations of buildings that contain a certain threshold amount of asbestos or asbestos containing materials.  Additionally, specific work practices are to be followed during demolitions and renovations.

More information on Asbestos NESHAP includes:

  • Asbestos NESHAP permits/notifications
  • Asbestos NESHAP rules
  • FAQs
  • Report an asbestos-related complaint

Open Burning

Open burning is the burning of materials such as trees, brush, leaves, grass and other debris where smoke and other emissions are released directly into the air without passing through a chimney or stack.  Air pollution from open burning can cause serious health problems, obscure visibility, or damage the environment.  PDEQ regulates open burning to address these concerns.  PDEQ rules require a permit for open burning, with the exception of campfires, barbecues, and small fires for warmth.

More information on Open Burning includes:

  • Open burning permits
  • Open burning rules
  • FAQs
  • Report an open burning complaint

 

Current Air Quality Information

PDEQ monitors ambient outdoor air pollutants throughout eastern Pima County, including the Tucson metropolitan area and Green Valley.  More information is available on the Air Monitoring program.  Air Info Now provides more information on air pollutants, health effects and historic and current air monitoring data.

Clean Air Program

The PDEQ Clean Air Program is funded by a grant from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality For more information, visit the Clean Air Program webpage under Information, Education and Public Outreach.

Pollution Advisories

Particulate Matter (PM) and Ground Level Ozone (O3) are significant health and air quality concerns in Pima County.

Particulate matter is a generic term used to describe a complex group of air pollutants that vary in size and composition, depending upon the location and time of its source.  The PM mixture of fine airborne solid particles and liquid droplets (aerosols) include components of nitrates, sulfates, elemental carbon, organic carbon compounds, acid aerosols, trace metals, and geological material.  Some aerosols are formed in the atmosphere from gaseous combustion by-products such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), oxides of sulfur (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).  The size of PM can vary from coarse wind blown dust particles to fine particles directly emitted or formed from chemical reactions occurring in the atmosphere.  PM10 comprises particles with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to a nominal 10 microns.  PM2.5 comprises particles with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to a nominal 2.5 microns.
 
Ground level ozone forms near Earth's surface when the ultraviolet light in sunlight triggers a chemical reaction with "precursor pollutants" emitted by cars, power plants, and industrial sources.  These precursor pollutants consist of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic hydrocarbons (VOC).  Ozone near ground level is a harmful pollutant.  Ozone levels are carefully monitored during the summer months when the weather conditions are perfect for it to form.  Sunshine, hot temperatures, and high emissions of NOx and VOC pollutants lead to high levels of ozone.

PDEQ issues advisories when the Tucson/eastern Pima County area is experiencing poor air quality.  More information on Air Quality Advisories is available.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Program 

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Department of Environmental Quality

33 N. Stone Ave., Suite 700
Tucson, AZ 85701

Phone: (520) 724-7400
Fax: (520) 838-7432


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