Laws 1986, Chapter 368, established the Water Quality Appeals Board. Current statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§49-321 through 49-324.
The purpose of the Water Quality Appeals Board is to provide an opportunity for a person to appeal a decision made by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) regarding water quality control, aquifer protection permits or pesticide contamination prevention. An aquifer protection permit is required for impoundments, solid waste disposal facilities, mine tailings, injection wells, underground storage facilities, point source discharges to surface water, sewage treatment facilities and wetlands used to treat wastewater for underground storage of water. Any person adversely affected by an action may file an appeal and any interested person may intervene in the appeal. The Board reviews evidence, hears arguments and issues a decision within a specified time frame. Final decisions of the Board may be appealed to Superior Court.
The Board is established within the Arizona Department of Administration and consists of three members, appointed to three-year terms by the Governor. One member must be an attorney licensed to practice in Arizona and all members must have the technical competence to perform the duties of the Board.
The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948 addressed water pollution. Broad amendments to the 1948 law were adopted in 1972, commonly known as the Clean Water Act, which regulated discharge of pollutants into waters of the United States; set standards and addressed point and non-point sources of pollution.
The Legislature adopted comprehensive legislation in 1986, establishing the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality in order to “….consolidate and focus responsibility for environmental management and administration of water quality, air quality, solid waste and hazardous waste regulation with the goal of increasing effectiveness, efficiency and public acceptance of environmental regulation.” (Laws 1986, Chapter 368, Section 153; purpose clause.) The Water Quality Appeals Board was established as part of the 1986 measure and outlined the method to appeal ADEQ decisions.
Laws 1998, Chapter 57 was an extensive measure which modified the administrative appeals process for a number of state agencies, including the Water Quality Appeals Board.
Arizona Revised Statutes
Laws 1986, Chapter 368
Laws 1998, Chapter 57
History of the Clean Water Act, www.epa.gov