(Sunset and audit reviews of these bodies are generally conducted together)
The Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency (ARRA) was originally known as the Arizona Atomic Energy Commission, and was established by Laws 1964, Chapter 30. Statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§30-651 et seq.
The Arizona Radiation Regulatory Hearing Board (Board) was added by Laws 1980, Chapter 206, and is part of the structure of ARRA. Statutory authority for the Board is found at A.R.S. §30-653 and §30-655
ARRA is responsible for protecting public health and safety by regulating, inspecting and licensing the use and sources of radiation statewide. ARRA is also responsible for performing any administrative and enforcement duties assigned to Arizona by the Southwestern Low-level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact. The agency is currently led by a director, appointed by the Governor, to administer the agency and serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
The Radiation Regulatory Hearing Board, consisting of five members appointed by the Governor, reviews orders of the director and/or agency. ARRA is authorized to develop and enforce rules and regulations for controlling ionizing and nonionizing radiation. The Board reviews and approves rules and substantive policy statements adopted by the agency.
ARRA is divided into six program areas:
- Radioactive Materials (RAM): issues licenses and inspects medical, industrial, and academic users of radioactive materials.
- XRay Compliance (XRAY): registers and inspects x-ray producing machines statewide.
- Non-ionizing Radiation Compliance (NIR): 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 (RML): 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 (ER): prepares for and responds to radiation accidents statewide; includes training for police, fire, and medical personnel.
- Medical Radiologic Technology Board of Examiners (MRTBE): 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.
The Arizona Atomic Energy Commission (Commission) was the precursor to ARRA and 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. Therefore, the Commission was established to take over some 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 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 and regulations adopted by the Commission.
Laws 1970, Chapter 70, changed the Commission membership and qualifications. Under this law, the Commission was to consist 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 also were 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 a 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 given the authority 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 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 agency. 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 added authority for ARRA to impose routine enforcement actions, civil penalties, and escalated enforcement actions, for violations of rules, regulations, or license requirements imposed by ARRA.
Laws 1984, Chapter 380 adopted the Western Low-level Waste Disposal Compact, designated ARRA as the agency responsible for administering and enforcing any duties assigned to Arizona by the Compact and 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 291.
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 the agency to make annual reports to the Governor and Legislature.
- A.R.S. §§30-651 et seq.
- A.R.S. §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
- Performance Audit: Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency, Radiation Regulatory Hearing Board, and Medical Radiologic Technology Board of Examiners, Auditor General, Report #15-115 (2015), http://www.azauditor.gov/sites/default/files/15-115_Report.pdf
- ARRA Official Website: http://www.azrra.gov/
- Arizona Administrative Code, R12-1-101 et seq.
Related collections at Arizona State Archives
- RG 13 Atomic Energy Commission
- RG 14 Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency