Air Quality Division Stakeholder Meeting

ADEQ invites you to attend a stakeholder meeting for the development of state rules for Arizona’s voluntary emissions bank. ADEQ seeks your input and ideas in amending the Arizona Administrative Code, Title 18, Chapter 2, Article 12 (PDF).

Earlier this year, the legislature amended the existing emissions bank statute (A.R.S. Section 49-410 or HB2152) to allow for new types of emissions reductions credits to be deposited in the bank. The amendments directed ADEQ to adopt rules implementing these changes. The rules will help promote Arizona as a more attractive option for companies seeking to locate or expand industrial operations while still maintaining healthy air quality.

This stakeholder meeting will be hosted in Yuma, which is currently not meeting national particulate matter air quality standards and the new ozone standards. Establishing the emissions bank rules, with your input, will provide businesses looking to locate in Yuma an opportunity to offset their emissions.

When: Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Where: Yuma County Development Services
Aldrich Hall
2351 W 26th St
Yuma, AZ 85364

RSVP:
Natalie Muilenberg
nm3@azdeq.gov
602-771-1089

Desert bighorn sheep poached, left to waste near Yuma

YUMA – The Arizona Game and Fish Department is seeking information about the recent poaching of a desert bighorn sheep that was found near Yuma, Ariz.

A reward of up to $500 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the killing of the adult ram through the department’s Operation Game Thief program. The Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society is offering an additional reward of up to $500 for a conviction in the case.

The carcass was found floating in the Wellton-Mohawk Canal, where it meets the Gila Main Gravity Canal. Some portions of the hide, legs and head of the animal had been removed, and additional leg quarters were found floating in nearby Fortuna Pond.

Game and Fish officials believe the sheep was shot around the week of Oct. 9 and that the suspects might have been visiting or camping at Fortuna Pond during that timeframe.

“There is no justifiable reason to poach an animal during a closed season and leave it to waste,” said Richard Myers, wildlife manager. “Poachers are not hunters or sportsmen. They are criminals who are stealing from the residents of Arizona.

“Due to the location of the crime scene, a fisherman or an off-highway vehicle user near the area may have seen something or heard something that may assist officers in solving this case.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the department’s Operation Game Thief hotline at (800) 352-0700, or visit http://www.azgfd.gov/ogt_form.shtml, and refer to case #17-004025. Callers can remain anonymous upon request.

Binational initiative wins economic development award

YUMA – A binational initiative to increase commerce and tourism in southwestern Arizona and the neighboring region in Mexico, stemming from a collaboration involving border communities and state entities including the Arizona Department of Transportation, has been honored for excellence in economic development.

The American Planning Association’s Economic Development Division selected the 4FrontED Initiative for its Donald E. Hunter Excellence in Economic Development Planning Award, saying the public-private partnership “is adding economic value to a multi-jurisdictional region where it may not have otherwise occurred.”

The 4FrontED region includes Yuma, Somerton, Wellton and San Luis in Arizona, as well as San Luis Río Colorado, Mexico. The Cocopah Indian Tribe is a recent member of the initiative.

In 2013, ADOT, the Arizona-Mexico Commission, the Arizona Commerce Authority and the Arizona Office of Tourism worked with the border communities of Douglas, Nogales and San Luis/Yuma County to create the Arizona Border Communities Roadmap identifying assets and strategies to generate economic development.

The 4FrontED Initiative stems from a binational work program, the Border Business Case, that is the first step of the Border Communities Roadmap. Through the 4FrontED Initiative, communities and businesses in southwestern Arizona and in Mexico formed alliances to increase international commerce and tourism and develop strategies to connect investors with opportunities.

“ADOT recognizes that border communities, because of their binational nature, have unique needs but also present a number of valuable opportunities for growth and development,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “The collaborative approach through the Border Communities Roadmap ensures that we maximize the efforts to promote the region and foster new investment and job creation.”

Yuma Mayor Douglas J. Nicholls, who initiated 4FrontED’s launch, said the initiative’s successes have only just begun as participants unite behind its shared vision.

“We are doing so, in unison, with short-term and long-term goals, to put the region on the global map,” Nicholls said.

The award will be presented Monday, May 8, at the American Planning Association National Planning Conference in New York City.

ADOT project creating more reliable link to key Yuma County employer

YUMA — Residents will have a more reliable link with Yuma County’s largest employer, Yuma Proving Ground, thanks to a 600-foot bridge the Arizona Department of Transportation is building across a flood-prone section of US 95.

Work began this week on the $9.3 million bridge spanning Fortuna Wash northeast of Yuma and is expected to be completed by next winter.

In addition to being a key trade route between the U.S. and Mexico, US 95 near Yuma sees increased demand during the winter months from agricultural workers and seasonal visitors. The highway currently passes through the wash, which sees flash flooding that forces closures.

“Building a bridge over Fortuna Wash is a critical safety project for the Yuma County region, the Yuma Proving Ground and the agricultural industry,” said ADOT Southwest District Engineer Paul Patane. “Motorists rely on this roadway every day to travel between Yuma and Interstate 10, and flash flooding at Fortuna Wash has previously closed the only north-south corridor in the region, forcing motorists to take lengthy detours. This new bridge will be a huge benefit to the region.”

The bridge, partially funded through a $3.2 million federal grant ADOT received in 2011, is going in at milepost 34, approximately 12 miles northeast of Yuma and 10 miles south of the turnoff (Imperial Dam Road) to Yuma Proving Ground.

Yuma Proving Ground, a U.S. Army facility with more than 3,000 military and civilian employees, is one of the largest military installations in the world and home to General Motors’ hot-weather vehicle test facility. It has an economic impact of more than $430 million annually.

“I personally have waited many hours on Highway 95 over the years because Fortuna Wash floodwaters flowed over the road,” said Chuck Wullenjohn, public affairs officer at Yuma Proving Ground. “The new bridge will be a boon both for commuters and for YPG cargo shipments that will no longer face being impeded by a flowing wash.”

ADOT’s long-term goal is widening about 15 miles of US 95 between Avenue 9E to Aberdeen Road, but that project would first need to be funded. The Fortuna Wash bridge will be built to accommodate four lanes of traffic but initially striped for two lanes with center-turn lane.

Crews are scheduled to work on the Fortuna Wash bridge project during weekdays between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. Initial work will include setting up a temporary detour road and tree removals, while actual bridge construction is expected to begin in March.

Motorists should allow extra travel time as lane restrictions will be in place and flaggers will occasionally need to alternate traffic through the work zone.