Designated Planning Agencies in Arizona

Responsibility for water quality planning and management is shared by a wide variety of federal, state, local and regional agencies. ADEQ is the lead agency for carrying out the mandates of the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act and is identified in the Environmental Quality Act as the State planning agency for environmental quality management programs.

A designated planning agency (DPA) is an established local, regional, state or federal agency or another entity with adequate resources, authority and desire to assume responsibility for water quality management planning (WQM) activities in a particular area.

Under Section 208 of the Clean Water Act, Designated Planning Agencies are required to develop comprehensive water quality management plans, also known as 208 plans. Under state and federal regulations, all new or significantly changed wastewater treatment facilities must gain consistency with their DPA’s 208 plan before permits may be issued. ADEQ serves as the state planning agency for water quality in the state of Arizona. Currently there are eight DPAs in Arizona: Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), Pima Association of Governments (PAG), Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG), SouthEastern Arizona Governments Organization (SEAGO), Central Arizona Governments (CAG), La Paz County, Mohave County and Yuma County.

Arizona Councils of Governments (COGs)

A Council of Governments (COG) is a public organization encompassing a multi-jurisdictional regional community. A COG serves the local governments and the citizens in the region by dealing with issues and needs that cross city, town, county and even state boundaries. Mechanisms used to address these issues may include communication, planning, policymaking, coordination, advocacy and technical assistance. Currently there are five COGs in Arizona that are DPAs: Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), Pima Association of Governments (PAG), Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG), SouthEastern Arizona Governments Organization (SEAGO) and Central Arizona Governments (CAG).

Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG)

The Maricopa Association of Governments is a Council of Governments that serves as the regional planning and policy agency for the metropolitan Phoenix area.  It provides a forum for research, discussion, and study of regional issues.  The MAG website contains extensive information on its program areas, including transportation, human services, information services, and environmental programs.  For the MAG 208 Water Quality Management Planning Program, the website includes: the MAG 208 Water Quality Management Plan; approved 208 Plan Amendments and Small Plant Review and Approvals; and Pre-Application Packets for 208 Plan Amendments and Small Plant Review and Approvals.

Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) website | View >
Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) 208 Plan | View >

Pima Association of Governments (PAG)

Pima Association of Governments is a coalition of local, state and tribal governments whose mission is to build consensus with its members and the public on regional planning issues, such as transportation, air quality and water quality. Pima Association of Governments’ staff gathers and analyzes data, provide accurate information, and coordinate an open and cooperative planning process to promote good decisions for our region’s future. PAG website important information about watershed planning in their council, water-related PAG publications and the 208 plan amendment document.

Pima Association of Governments (PAG) website | View >
Pima Association of Governments (PAG) 208 Plan | View >