Learn About the Waste Programs Division

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality's Waste Programs Division


The Waste Programs Division protects and enhances public health and the environment by reducing the risk associated with waste management, contaminated sites and regulated substances. Our core responsibilities include:

• Assuring the proper handling, storage, treatment and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes.

• Ensuring proper operation and maintenance of underground storage tank (UST) systems.

• Promoting pollution prevention and recycling.

• Investigating, managing and remediating soil and groundwater contaminated with regulated and hazardous substances.

• Reviewing and approving construction plans for landfills, hazardous waste facilities and other solid waste management facilities, including special waste and biohazardous medical waste.

• Investigating complaints and violations of Arizona’s solid and hazardous waste and underground storage tank laws.

Regulatory Programs

Permits & Plan Reviews 

The Permits Section provides technical reviews and issues permits to landfills, biohazardous medical waste facilities and hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities. It reviews detailed design information, operational plans, emergency response plans and financial assurance for all facilities. The permits section also manages corrective actions, including investigation and remediation of soil and groundwater contamination, at permitted waste management facilities. 

Pollution Prevention (P2) 

Pollution prevention is accomplished by eliminating or reducing the generation of hazardous wastes and the use of toxic substances and by improving indoor air quality, reducing energy and water use, and implementing other practices that conserve and protect natural resources. The P2 Program requires all industrial facilities that exceed certain thresholds of hazardous waste generation and toxic substance use to analyze potential P2 opportunities and to file an annual P2 plan. Learn more about the P2 Program | View Now > 

Inspections & Compliance 

The Inspections and Compliance Section inspects facilities that generate hazardous waste and solid waste, as well as facilities with underground storage tanks. Inspections are conducted on a routine basis and in response to citizen complaints to ensure compliance with environmental laws.  The compliance section also participates in outreach presentations and helps facilities understand and comply with applicable regulations.

Remedial Programs

Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP)

Through VRP, interested parties investigate and clean up soil and groundwater contaminated sites in cooperation with ADEQ. ADEQ reviews proposed voluntary remedial actions and determines if no further action is required after successful site cleanup. Learn more about the VRP Program | View Now > 

Brownfields Program 

The Brownfields Program provides technical and financial assistance for the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield properties. A brownfield is an abandoned or underused property with redevelopment potential that is complicated by either real or perceived environmental contamination. Remediation and redevelopment of brownfields reduces potential environmental hazards, encourages economic development and efficiently uses existing utilities and roads. Learn more about the Brownfields Program | View Now > 

Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF)

Through the WQARF Program, ADEQ identifies, investigates and cleans up soil, groundwater and surface water contaminated with hazardous substances. WQARF was created under the Environmental Quality Act of 1986 to help support hazardous substance cleanup efforts in the state. Currently, there are 33 WQARF sites in the state. Learn more about WQARF | View Now > 

State Superfund Programs 

The Federal Projects Unit manages National Priorities List (NPL) sites (also referred to as Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 sites or federal superfund sites).  NPL sites may have soil, surface water or groundwater contaminated with hazardous substances.  The purpose of the program is to ensure protection of human health and the environment through appropriate characterization and cleanup of high priority sites. 

Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Program 

The LUST Program investigates and coordinates efforts to clean up leaking USTs once a release has occurred. These efforts may include overseeing cleanups performed by the UST owner and operator or a volunteer who is willing to assume responsibility. ADEQ also may perform corrective actions using consultants who are on state contract.

Education & Outreach Programs 

Recycling Program 

The Recycling program encourages Arizonans to reduce, reuse, recycle and buy recycled products as an alternative to solid waste disposal in landfills. The program provides assistance to communities and organizations in developing recycling programs, accessing markets for recycled materials and educating people about the benefits of recycling. 

Community Involvement 

ADEQ’s Waste Programs Division is committed to involving citizens in the remediation of hazardous substance contamination at sites throughout the state. Its programs keep citizens informed about site progress and give them the opportunity to express their concerns, issues and opinions to assist ADEQ in determining the best way to move forward.