Environmental Planning Advisory Committee (EPAC)
Minutes of June 6, 2008, Meeting
Committee Members Public/Agencies
Sheila Bowen, Castro Engineering Mike Caparaso, Westland Resources
William Campbell, Pascua Yaqui Tribe (Alt.) Joanne Hershenhorn, COT, Urban
Dennis Carey, ASLD (Alt.) Planning & Design
Jennifer Christelman, Town of Marana Bev Hester, COT, DSD
Ed Curley, Pima County, Wastewater Larry Kempton, FICO
Chad Fretz, Freeport McMoRan Bill Petroutson, PC, DEQ
Marilyn Hanson, Town of Marana, Citizen Linda Smith, COT, Water
Mark Holden, Pima County, Planning
Sue Keith, ADEQ Staff
Chuck Komadina, Tucson Electric Power Colleen Crowninshield
Kendall Kroesen, Tucson Audubon Society Lee Comrie
Melodee Loyer, COT, Water Susanne Cotty
Charles W. Miller, DMAFB Dennis Dickerson
John Neunuebel, Town of Sahuarita Sara Hummel Rajca
Mark Novak, University of Arizona (Alt.) Steve Matthews
David Parker, Town of Oro Valley Mead Mier
Jorga Riggenbach, Pima County, Citizen Joan Reedy
David Schaller, COT, City Manager Sheila Storm
Dennis Skelton, Town of Sahuarita, Citizen Claire Zucker
Janine Spencer, Town of Marana (Alt.)
Annie Wallace, Rincon Institute
Betsy Woodhouse, COT, Citizen
1. Call to Order and Introductions
The meeting was called to order by Dennis Skelton at 9:33 a.m. and introductions were
2. In-kind Form
An in-kind form was routed among attendees.
3. Approval of Minutes of May 2, 2008
Motion was made by Ed Curley to approve the minutes of May 2, 2008, seconded
by Betsy Woodhouse and approved unanimously.
4. Chair, Committees, Members and PAG Staff Reports
Dennis Dickerson, Environmental Planning Coordinator, reviewed the following:
Dennis showed a slide presentation of the test burn of buffelgrass in Avra Valley, June 4,
2008. The test was used to research how fast, hot and rapidly buffelgrass burns and to
sensitize firefighters on what to expect in fighting a buffelgrass fire as well as how
buffelgrass comes back after a fire. Dennis also said the buffelgrass group is applying for
501 c (3) status which would be a vehicle for federal funds for buffelgrass control. Also the
Southern Arizona Leadership Council (SALC) has submitted a letter asking various groups
and jurisdictions key questions about buffelgrass. Dennis will report back to the
committee as well as post responses on the PAG Web site.
Marilyn Hanson, shared slides taken at Gates Pass Road parking lot showing a time line of
successful buffelgrass removal by the Sonoran Desert Weedwackers. Marilyn handed out
the Sonoran Desert Weedwacker brochures and said the group meets to remove
buffelgrass on Wednesday and Saturday and is open to new members. The group’s goal is
to remove buffelgrass and have native grasses fill in. They have removed 100 tons since
Dennis continued his report with solar issues:
No. 1 -The Southern Arizona Regional Solar Partnership now has 20 members and is
working on a solar action plan focused on what is needed to pursue and advance solar in
the region. The plan will be available for public review mid-July. Dennis will make copies
of this report available.
No. 2 – Dennis reported that at the federal level, one of the most critically important things
for solar is the passage of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which has passed the House and
is pending in the Senate.
Dennis mentioned that there are flyers on the table announcing the June 21, 2008,
Southeastern Arizona Solar Power Forum. Also on Monday, June 30, 2008, there is a Solar
Energy Development Conference, participation by invitation, for governmental
representatives, decision makers, and key staffs from cities, counties and tribes. It is being
coordinated by Congresswoman Giffords’ office. The City of Tucson has issued an RFP for
a one mega watt system solar facility at the Central Avra Valley Storage and Recovery
Project (CAVSARP) - one of the recharge basins in Avra Valley.
Finally, on May 15 the PAG Regional Council approved PAG’s participation in the
buffelgrass memorandum of understanding (MOU), a document allowing cooperation
among PAG’s member jurisdictions. The Regional Council also approved the EPAC bylaws
change regarding vacancies and the first step of the 208 Amendment process for Ina Road
and Roger Road.
HANDOUT: Burning Buffelgrass Weed Wipeout, by Ty Bowers, The Explorer Newspaper,
page 4 & 8, June 4, 2008.
HANDOUT: Sonoran Desert WEEDWACKERS, Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and
Recreation, 3500 West River Road, Tucson, AZ 85741, (520) 615-7855, www.pima.gov/nrpr.
HANDOUT: Southeastern Arizona Solar Power Forum, Saturday, June 21, 2008, Cochise
College, Douglas Campus, 4190 W. Hwy. 80/Student Union Bldg. 500. Register online at:
Lee Comrie, Air Quality Planning Manager, reported that the Air Quality Subcommittee
meeting this month was replaced with the Air Quality Trends in the Southwest forum, held
June 4. Lee said the meeting was well attended, and presentations will be posted on the
PAG Web site in a week or two. Lee provided a brief summary of the forum presentations.
She said that the report by the EPA on the new ozone standard was timely since it will
probably put this region in non-attainment. She mentioned that there will likely be
significant requirements and costs associated with meeting this ozone standard. In
addition, she indicated that the EPA is being sued over the ozone standard by both
industry and environmental groups. The next Air Quality Subcommittee meeting will be
Claire Zucker, Watershed Planning Manager, announced that they have started working
on the 208 amendment for upgrades to Roger Road and Ina Road facilities.
At the Watershed Planning Subcommittee meeting held May 29, 2008, Kristine Uhlman ,
Water Resources Research Center, was elected as WPS Chair. Claire announced that a
comment letter from PAG was submitted this past week to the Arizona Department of
Environmental Quality (ADEQ) regarding Surface Water Quality Standards and is available
on the entry table. The next meeting will be held June 30, 2008, and will include some of
the mining issues. In July, Tucson Water will have a presentation on recharge systems.
HANDOUT: Letter dated June 4, 2008, to Ms. Shirley J. Conard, Water Quality Division,
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), Proposed Rulemaking: Title 18
Environmental Quality, Chapter 11 Department of Environmental Water Quality Standards,
April 25, 2008.
The Statewide Water Quality Management Working Group meeting, scheduled for
Tuesday, June10, 2008, was canceled.
The Stormwater Management Working Group is starting its outreach campaign and
among other elements will have ads at the Foothills Mall Theatre.
Mead Mier, Watershed Planner, shared slides from the May 24 Tucson Regional Creek and
Wash Clean-up Day. Mead said that 20 people cleaned up 400 pounds of trash at three
sites this year. This event was organized by PAG along with the Master Watershed
Stewards, Cienega Watershed Partnership, Rincon Institute, Tucson Clean & Beautiful Inc.,
and American Rivers that sponsors the National River Clean-up Week.
Colleen Crowninshield, Clean Cities Manager, presented the following updates:
o Phoenix has hit $4 a gallon and Tucson is not far behind
o B-99 biodiesel stations - Dove Mountain Chevron and the Pima and Alvernon Shell
o Arizona Petroleum has both B-99 and B-20 available
o Safeway at Broadway and Campbell B-20
o E-85 price difference questions – there is a cap at what they can sell it for, but
other than that it differs because the stations can modify prices and people are
o Phoenix has a second E-85 site and three more on the way
o Rash of ethanol stations popping up in Tucson – six new E-85 sites (most recently
opened station is a Quick Mart at Irvington and Houghton)
o Grant solicitation from the West Coast collaborative Regions 9 and 10 for school
districts – Diesel Emissions Reductions Grant (deadline July 1, 2008)
o Annual National Governor’s Meeting in Pennsylvania – Requesting flex fuels for
o Kenworth Truck Co. –Building L&G Trucks
o Sustainable and Energy EXPO March 6-7, 2009 – booth space goes fast – see Web
o New Radio Station – Mrs. Green Goes Mainstream, Saturdays, Noon to 12:30 p.m.,
790AM KNST – also has a Web site: www.mrsgreengoesmainstream.com.
HANDOUTS: (1) Clean Cities Courier, (2) Clean Fuels and Clean Fleets brochure, (3)
Ethanol – Frequently Asked Questions, Flex-fuel Vehicle Listing brochure.
Committee Member Announcements:
The committee was polled about canceling the EPAC meeting scheduled for July 4. It was
unanimously agreed upon to cancel. The next EPAC meeting will be held Aug. 1, 2008.
Sue Keith, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, reported that the Army Corps of
Engineers has reached a determination on the Santa Cruz jurisdiction under the Clean
Water Act. All national waters are subject to rules and regulations and must get permits
for discharges to a river, etc. Dennis will put the document on the PAG Web site.
HANDOUT: Army Corps of Engineers Determination on Santa Cruz River (PAG Web site at
www.pagnet.org under Committee/EPAC/6-6-08 meeting)
John Neunuebel, Town of Sahuarita, said the town is in the process of considering eight
major general plan amendments. One is from American Nevada Co. for the Mission Peaks
Project to the west of the town’s current corporate limits. Another involves 16 sections of
State Trust Land immediately to the east of the town’s corporate boundaries generally
north and south of Sahuarita Road to Wilmot Road. The applications for major
amendments were sent out for various jurisdictions and agencies for a 60-day review
period last week. They expect to go before the Planning and Zoning Commission by the
end of August.
David Schaller, City of Tucson, said his office has been asked by the Mayor and City Council
to make a presentation on climate change applications. The meeting will take place
Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. in the Council Offices.
5. Regional Regulatory Matters/Agency Updates
6. Regional Optimization Master Plan (ROMP) 208 Amendment
Ed Curley, Pima County Wastewater Management, discussed the 208 amendment process
for the Pima County Regional Optimization Master Plan (ROMP). Work is under way to
develop and process a 208 amendment for upgrades to Pima County’s wastewater
facilities so they are in compliance with the region’s Water Quality Management Plan (208
plan). The ROMP Plan includes a detailed implementation schedule to meet regulatory
implementation deadlines. The approach is a multi-phase plan to improve effluent quality
and increase capacity at the Ina Road Wastewater Reclamation Facility and to construct a
new 32 million gallon per day (MGD) water reclamation campus at the Roger Road site.
The goal is to keep the community informed about how it works and how decisions are
reached. Mr. Curley suggested reading the first seven pages of the 208 Plan Amendment
which is the executive summary.
Claire Zucker spoke about EPAC’s role in the approval of this amendment to the 208 plan.
This amendment will come before EPAC in August 2008. The questions asked will be:
Does it meet the needs for ADEQ for permitting process purposes and does it meet PAG’s
Regional Water Quality Management Plan ideas? It will be posted on the PAG Web site
and notice will be sent between now and Aug. 1. EPAC members are being asked to
review the document before the August meeting. Dennis Skelton requested that the
members come to the August meeting informed and ready to act on the amendment. If
there are questions that need to be addressed, the vote may be delayed until the
September meeting. Claire reassured Dennis that there has been, and will be, public
involvement in this process and that they are going beyond what is required.
7. An Overview of Water Management within the Tucson Region
Claire Zucker, Watershed Planning Manager, gave a PowerPoint that addressed some of
the potential consequences for pumping water in addition to outlining how water is
recharged in the Tucson region. She described water use in our region, which includes
municipal, agricultural, and industrial use and said that over time, municipal use has
increased and will likely continue to increase in the future.
Claire summarized the state groundwater rules and also described the Central Arizona
Project (CAP) system, which brings Colorado River Water to Tucson. She described how
recharge of CAP water occurs and how recharge credits are accrued by various entities.
Because our water laws are primarily geared to protect drinking water supplies, extra
effort needs to be made to ensure that the environment receives enough water to
maintain our rivers and riparian areas.
In summary, she stated that the public is very concerned about the long-term availability
of water especially in the face of climate change and drought and uncertainties about how
that may affect CAP supplies. She assured the group, that these issues are concerning, but
that water managers continue to build in safe guards and protections so that supplies are
PowerPoint: Water Supply in the Desert: Myths and Realities and thirsty for Answers:
Water in the Desert.
8. Plastic Bags
Dennis Dickerson, Environmental Planning Coordinator, offered a PowerPoint update on
the status of efforts throughout the United States and the world to eliminate the use of
plastic bags. The littering of streets and streams is creating an environmental challenge.
Plastic bags produce greenhouse gases, consume landfill space and kill wildlife. In the
United States, it takes 12 million barrels of oil to generate the plastic bags we use on an
annual basis. Paper bags release more greenhouse gases to produce than plastic. Paper
vs. plastic, what does it cost to produce - plastic costs one cent but paper costs four cents.
There are three options: recycling, outright bans or pricing. Several countries have
banned outright or taxed the use of plastic bags. Discussion followed.
Industry Initiatives: Battle of the Bags – Paper vs. Plastic
PowerPoint: Plastic Bags Responses to a common problem.
9. Requests for Future Agenda Items
Brad Lancaster, Water Harvesting - August
Ann Audrey, Water Harvesting
10. Call to the Audience
MOTION to adjourn by Dennis Skelton. Meeting adjourned 11: 45 a. m.