Support for Small Communities

Since small communities often have limited resources, ADEQ works with cities, towns and special districts with populations of 10,000 or less to help them comply with environmental laws. ADEQ’s voluntary Small Communities Environmental Compliance Assistance Program offers tools for maintaining and documenting compliance efforts.

How to Participate

Eligible small communities include those that develop tools to reduce existing violations and enforcement actions and show a “good faith commitment” to remaining in compliance with applicable environmental laws, including promptly self-reporting and correcting environmental violations. To participate in the program, such communities must complete and submit to ADEQ for approval a Small Community Environmental Protection Plan (SCEPP), which is similar to the Environmental Management Systems that many regulated businesses and organizations use to manage their environmental, health and safety programs.  

ADEQ offers a template and guidance materials, including a comprehensive instruction manual, to train small communities on environmental requirements and help with SCEPP development. The template allows the community to set environmental improvement goals and provides procedures for meeting objectives, monitoring success and making necessary changes.


Participating communities with an approved SCEPP and demonstrated compliance with applicable environmental laws may qualify for up to 100 percent penalty reduction from ADEQ for environmental violations that may occur. Other benefits of participation include:

• Tools to improve operations at less cost

• Improved employee training

• Increased community confidence in municipal services

• Means to attract prospective employees or investors

Learn more about programs in your community and how how you can get involved