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By: Steve Goldstein on 12/24/2012
As the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality marks its 25th year, the agency’s director says it’s providing high-quality service despite budget cuts.
From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Steve Goldstein reports.
STEVE GOLDSTEIN: As of two years ago, money for ADEQ no longer comes out of the state’s general fund, and the number of employees in the department has decreased by 40 percent. But ADEQ Director Henry Darwin says the agency has no plans to ask the legislature for more money when the next session begins in January.
HENRY DARWIN: What we’re finding is that we’re able to live within the structure that currently exists. Certainly, there are things that we’d like to do, that would benefit the environment more. But I don’t think money is the solution. We may, at some point in time, go to the legislature and ask for general fund appropriation, but we’re not going to do that until we figure out whether we need it. The fact of the matter is that the way we’re operating right now we’re able to accomplish all the goals we’ve set for ourselves.
GOLDSTEIN: Among other things, ADEQ is responsible for helping keep the state’s air cleaner and keeping the public informed when air quality is low. The Valley has been under a “No Burn” day advisory today because of high levels of particulate matter.