Waste Programs Division: Superfund/Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF)

The Remedial Projects Section identifies, assesses and cleans up soil, groundwater and surface water contaminated with hazardous substances. The program conducts these efforts throughout Arizona with support from state and federal funds. The program also oversees privately-funded cleanup efforts.

The Remedial Projects Section uses the Arizona Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF), created under the Environmental Quality Act of 1986 to support hazardous substance cleanup efforts in the state. The fund is dependent upon legislative appropriations, cost recovery from responsible parties, corporate income tax and special fees. The program identifies sites that are most in need of cleanup and adds them to the WQARF Registry. Sites on the Registry receive first consideration for distribution of funds.

Some sites in Arizona are governed and funded by the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund. Sites that pose the greatest potential threat to human health and the environment are put on the National Priorities List (NPL). There are nine NPL Superfund sites in Arizona, two of which are divided into north and south portions. In addition to the NPL and the WQARF Registry sites, the Superfund Programs Section also provides state review and oversight at 12 Department of Defense (DoD) sites.

Cost Recovery

Parties responsible for causing contamination at sites in the WQARF and Superfund programs are identified and notified of potential liability, and legal and technical information is gathered for recovery of ADEQ's costs and for enforcement of cleanup requirements. The parties found responsible in WQARF and Superfund actions are liable for paying costs of remedial actions required or monitored by ADEQ. The recovered dollars are then deposited back into WQARF.

Voluntary Remediation Program

A property owner or other interested party may wish to initiate remedial or cleanup actions at a site on a voluntary basis. To start the process, ADEQ requires that the interested party sign an application that contains a reimbursement agreement for costs associated with ADEQ's oversight of the remediation or cleanup efforts. The major benefit of this program for the voluntary party is the opportunity of receiving a no further action determination from ADEQ in an expedited period of time.

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Community Involvement

ADEQ is committed to involving citizens in the remediation of the hazardous substance contamination at sites throughout the state. The community involvement effort is based on two-way communication designed to keep citizens informed about site progress and give them the opportunity to provide their concerns, issues, and opinions to assist ADEQ in determining the best way to move forward with the remediation of the site.

Community Involvement for Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF) Sites

Within the Arizona Revised Statutes, there are several provisions for community involvement at WQARF sites. These provisions ensure that the public is informed of remedial action work that may be of interest to them and is provided an opportunity to be directly involved in the process that leads to the determination of the final cleanup for a site.

For those sites where ADEQ may conduct a remedial investigation and feasibility study, a number of community involvement requirements must be met. The primary requirements are the creation of a Community Involvement Plan (CIP) for the site, the formation of a Community Advisory Board (CAB), numerous notices, and public meetings to be held statewide.

Community Advisory Boards (CAB)

An important method for ADEQ to communicate with the public at Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF) sites is through the creation of CABs. ADEQ forms a CAB for each WQARF Registry site where a remedial investigation is implemented. The main duty of a CAB is to advise ADEQ and the public of issues and concerns related to the remediation of the site. CABs will:

  • provide comments to ADEQ on cleanup goals, specific cleanup methods and other issues related to the site,
  • represent a diversified cross section of the community in and around the site,
  • participate in outreach to the community, and
  • may make site visits if desired.

Community Advisory Board (CAB) Activities

CABs meet at least four times a year with representatives from ADEQ and receive up-to-date information about a project's status. Representatives from ADEQ provide the CAB with any needed technical explanations and facilitate discussion of the community's issues and concerns. The CAB may make site visits, participate in public meetings, and coordinate with ADEQ to produce newsletters and establish information repositories for public use. In addition, CABs are required to elect officers and develop a charter. CAB members share information they have learned with their fellow community members and ask the community for feedback in order to ensure that all views are represented.

How are CABs established?

By Arizona statute, CABs are composed of five to 20 members who represent a diversified cross-section of the community, including interested parties and affected groups. Initially, these members are chosen from applications that are 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). It is preferred that 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 the CAB members through the CAB's charter.

How do I apply?

For existing CABs, contact the appropriate CAB co-chairpersons for further information. For a list of established CABs please contact Remedial Projects. Where CABs are not formed, application forms are available in conjunction with the supply of fact sheets and other notices to the community members associated with the site location. Simply complete the application and return it by the requested date to ADEQ, as directed in the application. CAB members are only selected from applications that are received.

Community Involvement for Superfund and Department of Defense (DoD) Sites

Sites addressed under the federal Superfund or the Department of Defense programs are also required to conduct community involvement and public notice activities. Please contact the individual site project manager or community involvement coordinator for information on community involvement activities at these sites.

Site Information and Maps

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Contracting Opportunities

All remedial action work conducted by the Superfund Programs Section is done through the Arizona Superfund Response Action Contract (ASRAC). ASRAC is a one-year renewable contract specifying the terms and conditions for all awarded contractors.

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Meetings and Public Notices

Information about the various meetings managed or attended by the Superfund Programs Section is arranged by topic and date. Where available, agendas for individual meetings may be referenced by clicking on the meeting title. For past meetings, when available, the notes or minutes from the meetings can be read by clicking on the meeting title. You may also sign up to receive e-mail notices and other documents.

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