WQARF Community Involvement

Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF) and Community Involvement

ADEQ is committed to keeping the public informed and involved in situations where hazardous materials impact the environment. WQARF sites have community involvement requirements that ensure the public is informed throughout the project and given an opportunity to participate in decisions concerning cleanup. These requirements include the formation of a Community Advisory Board (CAB), the creation of a Community Involvement Plan (CIP) for the site, numerous notices and public meetings.

CABs

To better understand the community and its concerns, ADEQ’s goal is to form a Community Advisory Board (CAB) after a site is listed on the WQARF Registry. The basic functions of CABs are to:

  • Learn: ADEQ provides CABs with technical explanations and facilitates discussions regarding community issues and concerns. CABs may make site visits. 
  • Advise: CABs question and advise ADEQ on site activities, plans, cleanup goals and proposals. CABs will advise ADEQ on appropriate methods of delivering site information to the community as well as provide input regarding content.
  • Share: CAB members serve as an information resource for their community. Representing a diverse cross section of the community in and around the site, CABs participate in community outreach, share information they have learned with their fellow community members, and seek community feedback in order to ensure that all views are represented.

CABs are required to elect officers and develop a charter. They meet several times a year with ADEQ representatives to receive up-to-date information about a project’s status. By Arizona statute, CABs are composed of five to 20 members, representing a cross section of the community, interested parties and affected groups. Members are chosen from applications reviewed by a selection committee composed of an ADEQ representative, a local elected official, two community members and an interested party (an owner or operator of a facility within the site or an affected business or industry). Preferably, members are willing to make at least a one-year commitment to serve on a CAB. Determining terms of service, filling vacancies, electing officers and other membership-related decisions are made by CAB members through the CAB’s charter. CAB meetings are open to the public and held at easily accessible locations.

Community Involvement Plans

WQARF sites in the Remedial Investigation phase and beyond follow a Community Involvement Plan (CIP) that lays out how ADEQ will involve the communities surrounding the WQARF sites. CIPs:

  • Establish a public document repository location
  • Provide for schedules of CAB meetings and public meetings
  • Outline the demographics of the community near the WQARF site
  • Contain a summary of community interviews
  • Contain a summary of all public notices and documents for the site
  • Specify the means of publication of site documents
  • Contain a summary of the site history
  • Contain contact information for ADEQ and CAB personnel

The CIP is updated at least every 2 years with input from the CAB and the community.

For more information on CABs or to apply to be a CAB member, please contact WQARF Community Involvement.