The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality was established by the Arizona Environmental Quality Act in 1986 to serve as a separate, cabinet-level agency to administer all of Arizona's environmental protection programs. The same legislation established a comprehensive groundwater protection program and the state's Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF), to identify, assess and remediate contaminated sites with the potential to impact public health or groundwater.
Prior to 1986, the state's environmental programs were managed by a collection of offices in the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Since that time, the department has grown from a size of about 135 employees to an agency of more than 450 people, who support a wide range of environmental programs that protect the quality of our air, water and land in Arizona. Along the way, the department has created the rules and regulations necessary to administer state environmental protections laws and a number of federally-delegated programs, such as the Clean Air Act program, the Safe Drinking Water Act program, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act program.
ADEQ 25th Anniversary Book