Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Benjamin H. Grumbles wrote a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that argues the agency did not "adequately consider the ADEQ's scientific research" regarding air-pollution exceedances in 2008.
Grumbles' letter, released Tuesday, was a response to the May denial of Arizona's request to classify several Maricopa County air quality violations as being the result of uncontrolled natural events. The denial could lead the EPA to disapprove an air quality plan issued by the county. Without approval of the plan, billions of dollars of federal highway funding is at risk in Arizona, according to ADEQ.
"The EPA analysis was incomplete and gave short shrift to our excellent scientific research," Grumbles said. "EPA's analysis also was not shared with ADEQ or other local authorities prior to the announcement of its decision. ADEQ is seeking an opportunity to find common ground with EPA on the scientific and technical differences."