Note: Sunset and audit reviews of these bodies are generally conducted together.
The Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency (ARRA) was created in 1980 and assumed the responsibilities of the Arizona Atomic Energy Commission. Effective January 1, 2018 the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) assumed the authority, powers, duties and responsibilities of ARRA (Laws 2017, Chapter 313). Note: see history for Medical Radiologic Technical Board of Examiners for related material.
Statutory authority for duties assumed by ADHS from ARRA may be found at A.R.S. §§30-651 et seq.
The Arizona Radiation Regulatory Hearing Board (Board) was also established in 1980 as part of the structure of ARRA. Laws 2017, Chapter 313 transferred the responsibilities of the Board to ADHS. Legislation enacted in 2018 repealed the Board and provided that hearings and appeals of ADHS decisions would be conducted by the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings according to procedures outlined in A.R.S. §§41-1092 through 41-1092.12.
Statutory authority for the Board was found at A.R.S. §§30-653 and 30-655 until August 2018.
Regulatory rules are found at A.A.C. R12-2-101, et seq.
Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency
ARRA was responsible for protecting public health and safety by regulating, inspecting and licensing the use and sources of radiation statewide. ARRA was also responsible for performing any administrative and enforcement duties assigned to Arizona by the Southwestern Low-level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact. The agency was administered by a director, appointed by the Governor, until January 1, 2018 when ARRA was transferred to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
The Radiation Regulatory Hearing Board was authorized to conduct hearings, review orders of the director or agency and consider appeals by a party adversely affected by an order of the director or ARRA. The Board also reviewed rules promulgated by ARRA and made recommendations to ARRA and the Legislature. The Board consisted of five members appointed by the Governor. The Board was eliminated in 2017.
The Arizona Atomic Energy Commission (Commission), the precursor to ARRA, was created by Laws 1964, Chapter 30. The Legislature’s declaration of policy recognized the benefits of developing and using atomic energy and ionizing radiation for the public health and welfare, but also recognized the dangers associated with radiation and its sources. The declared public policy of the state was to encourage the development of radiologic technologies, while also prohibiting and controlling unnecessary radiation. The Commission was established to assume certain responsibilities of the United States Atomic Energy Commission; to adopt rules, regulations, and standards for the use and sources of atomic energy and ionizing radiation; to conduct studies and disseminate information; and to coordinate with other states and the federal government.
The Commission originally consisted of the director of the Arizona Development Board, the commissioner of the State Health Department, and ten additional members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The ten additional members were from industry, with education and training in the fields of radiology, pathology, medicine, other healing arts, health physics, or related sciences. The appointed members served staggered five-year terms. The Commission was authorized to appoint a director, subject to approval by the Governor, to serve at the pleasure of the Commission and Governor. The director assisted the Commission in administering and enforcing statutory requirements, as well as the rules adopted by the Commission.
Laws 1970, Chapter 70, changed the Commission membership and qualifications. As a result of this law, the Commission consisted of the executive director of the Department of Economic Planning and Development, the commissioner of the State Department of Health, and ten additional members. The additional members were still appointed by the Governor with approval of the Senate, but were now required to have a minimum of four years of education or experience in the use or control of atomic energy or radiation. They were also required to be associated with at least one of the following fields: medicine including radiology, radiation protection, higher education, nuclear services, manufacturing, electric power generation, agriculture, mining, or other commerce.
Laws 1978, Chapter 160 authorized the Commission to charge fees for licenses and established the Radioactive Material Processing Operations License Fund. Chapter 160 also provided the Commission with the authority over all radioactive waste materials in the state, the authority to acquire property for radioactive waste materials storage and created the Radiation and Perpetual Care Fund. Monies in the Fund were to be used for decommissioning, stabilization, control, storage or disposal of radioactive material.
Laws 1980, Chapter 206 abolished the Commission, and created the Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency and the Radiation Regulatory Hearing Board, transferring duties, funds, personnel, records, equipment and contracts. The powers and duties of the new agency were largely the same as the Commission’s had been, however the internal structure changed. ARRA was now led by a director, appointed by the Governor, and authorized to administer and enforce statutes, rules and regulations. The measure also renamed the Radioactive Material Processing Operations License Fund as the Radiation Regulatory License and Registration Fund.
Instead of a commission, the new agency included a five-member Board, appointed by the Governor to five-year terms. Board members were required to have at least four years of education or experience in the use or control of atomic energy or radiation. One member was required to be an expert in medicine or health, another member to be an expert in nuclear energy, and the remaining three were public members otherwise qualified to serve on the Board. The Board conducted hearings, reviewed orders of the director or agency and considered appeals by a party adversely affected by an order of the director or ARRA. The Board was also authorized to review rules and regulations promulgated by ARRA and make recommendations to the agency and the Legislature.
Laws 1980, Chapter 206 also authorized ARRA to impose routine enforcement actions, civil penalties, and escalated enforcement actions for violations of rules or license requirements imposed by ARRA. ARRA was divided into six program areas:
- Radioactive Materials: issues licenses and inspects medical, industrial, and academic users of radioactive materials.
- X-ray Compliance: registers and inspects x-ray producing machines statewide.
- Non-ionizing Radiation Compliance: registers and inspects non-ionizing radiation devices, such as certain types of lasers, tanning beds, and radiofrequency devices; also licenses laser technicians for cosmetic procedures.
- Radiation Measurements Laboratory: monitors radiation levels around the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, and is responsible for public information and technical guidance on measuring radon statewide.
- Emergency Response: prepares for and responds to radiation accidents statewide; includes training for police, fire, and medical personnel.
- Medical Radiologic Technology Board of Examiners: licenses professionals practicing in various specialties of medical imaging and therapy using ionizing radiation statewide; hears complaints against licensees, investigates allegations, and conducts administrative adjudication.
Laws 1984, Chapter 380 adopted the Western Low-level Waste Disposal Compact and designated ARRA as the agency responsible for administering and enforcing any duties assigned to Arizona by the Compact. The measure also established the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Low-level Waste to review proposals under consideration by the Board and to monitor actions of member states.
Laws 1986, Chapter 279 deleted the Radiation Regulatory License and Registration Fund, transferred all unexpended and unencumbered monies to the State General Fund and redirected license fees to the State General Fund.
Laws 1987, Chapter 369 added several statutory provisions relating to disposal of low-level radioactive waste, licensing requirements, permits, fees, surcharges, decommissioning, funding and liability. The law also required the Director of ARRA to submit recommendations for siting a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility in Arizona and authorized the Director to contract with an operator if the site was approved by the Legislature. Note: This provision, and its related $200,000 appropriation, was repealed the following year by Laws 1988, Chapter 290.
Laws 1988, Chapter 290 repealed the ratification of the Western Low-level Waste Disposal Compact and enacted the Southwestern Low-level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact. ARRA remained the designated agency to administer and enforce Arizona’s assigned duties under the Compact.
Laws 1992, Chapter 35 gave ARRA the authority to regulate mammography. The law also changed the Board qualifications to require one member to be an expert in medicine or health, one member to be an expert in nuclear energy, one member to be an expert in mammography, and the remaining two members to be public members who are otherwise qualified.
Laws 1996, Chapter 153 changed the powers and duties of the Board by requiring the Board to review rules, regulations and substantive policy statements promulgated or adopted by ARRA. The law also required ARRA to submit reports on inspection and enforcement activities to the Legislature by July 1, 1998.
Laws 2003, Chapter 104 removed the requirement for ARRA to make annual reports to the Governor and Legislature.
Laws 2017, Chapter 313 transferred the authority, powers, duties and responsibilities of ARRA and the Board to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). The measure specified that: 1) rules and orders adopted by ARRA and the Board remain in effect until superseded by ADHS administrative action; 2) certificates, licenses, registration and permits issued by ARRA and the Board remain valid until they expire; and 3) personnel of ARRA and the Board would be transferred to comparable positions and pay classifications at ADHS. Note: the measure also transferred responsibilities of the Medical Radiologic Technical Board of Examiners to ADHS.
Laws 2018, Chapter 234 eliminated the Board and provided that hearings and appeals of decisions made by ADHS would be conducted by the Office of Administrative Hearings as outlined in A.R.S. §§41-1092 through 41-1092.12.
- A.R.S. §§30-651 et seq.
- A.R.S. §30-721 through 30-722
- Session Laws
- Laws 1964, Chapter 30
- Laws 1970, Chapter 70
- Laws 1978, Chapter 160
- Laws 1980, Chapter 206
- Laws 1984, Chapter 380
- Laws 1986, Chapter 279
- Laws 1987, Chapter 369
- Laws 1988, Chapter 290
- Laws 1992, Chapter 35
- Laws 1996, Chapter 153
- Laws 2003, Chapter 104
- Laws 2017, Chapter 313
- Laws 2018, Chapter 234
- Administrative Rules
- Performance Audit: Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency, Radiation Regulatory Hearing Board, and Medical Radiologic Technology Board of Examiners, Auditor General, Report #15-115 (2015).
- ARRA Official Website: http://www.azrra.gov/
Related collections at Arizona State Archives
- RG 13 Atomic Energy Commission
- RG 14 Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency