Thursday, November 7, 2013

Exceptional Events: the Return of the Air Quality Conference

After a three year hiatus, the Air Quality Conference made a triumphant return yesterday, with over 175 attendees turning out to hear presentations on topics from the EPA’s Exceptional Events rule to streamlining permitting procedures.

A full room for yesterday's Air Quality Conference

We’re grateful to presenting sponsor Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite, who kicked off the event with a presentation from attorney Bert Acken along with Polsinelli attorney Maribeth Klein. Their presentation gave a brief overview of the air quality issues in Maricopa County.

Eddie Al-Rayes from Trinity Consultants then gave the group a run-down of start-up shut-down malfunction.

Colleen McKaughan from the EPA Region 9 finished up the morning programming with an update from the EPA and the forecast for the coming year.

Over lunch, Director Bill Wiley from the Maricopa County Air Quality Department gave the day’s keynote address. He talked about some of the department’s initiatives including the No Burn Day Campaign and the Clean Air App. He also gave a brief history and status update on the Maricopa County 5% Plan.

After lunch, Eric Massey from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality gave an update of the state’s leading air quality issues including exceptional events and ozone. The afternoon followed by an update from Clint Chandler of U.S. Senator Jeff Flake’s office who discussed the work Senator Flake has done to streamline the Exceptional Events Rule and the CLEER Acts.

The all-star afternoon panel

Finally, the afternoon boasted an all-star panel of regulators and regulateds, which included:

·         Bill Wiley (MCAQD)
·         Eric Massey (ADEQ)
·         Phil McNeely (City of Phoenix)
·         Steve Trussell (ARPA)
·         Ann Becker (APS)
·         Christian Stumpf (Lung Assoc.)
·         Jeff Gursh (AZ OHV Coalition)

The panel was moderated by Polsinelli’s Amanda Reeve and addressed ways in which government agencies are working with the private sector on air quality issues.

The conference’s emcee Ken Hooker from the Maricopa County Air Quality Department then wrapped up the day.

All told, it was an extraordinarily successful return for the Air Quality Conference, and we look forward to many more discussions about the regulation of air quality in our state and the impact on Arizona businesses.

For more details about the event, check out the event’s Twitter hashtag- #AQConference

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