Living in a healthy environment is an important element of a sustainable community. Living in a healthy environment means that we do not have to worry about toxins in our air and water, in our homes, or in the products we use. It also means that our ecosystem is healthy, our natural resources are protected, and plants and wildlife can sustain themselves.
The U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement that Mayor and Council endorsed on September 6, 2006 includes goals for improving environmental health. These goals are driving the City’s efforts as part of a larger sustainability vision for the community.
• Inventory global warming emissions, set reduction targets and create an action plan.
• Increase the use of clean, alternative energy.
• Reduce fossil fuel consumption by the municipal fleet.
• Maintain urban green space and promote tree planting to increase shading and to absorb CO2.
This page is dedicated to providing information about the City of Tucson’s departments, codes, plans, programs, and resources related to Environmental Health.
Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development
Tucson’s Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development (OCSD). We collaborate with City departments, community and interest groups, nonprofit organizations, and other partners to protect and enhance the integrity of our unique Sonoran Desert ecosystem, improve the environmental quality and livability of the urban environment, and support a vibrant local economy.
Department of Housing and Community Development
The Department of Housing and Community Development is the City of Tucson Department responsible for administering housing, planning, community development and social services programs. The Department plans, funds and operates programs which assist Tucsonans, and families throughout Pima County, to improve their housing options, their neighborhoods, and their lives.
Department of Environmental Services
Environmental Services provides Tucson citizens and businesses with refuse collection and disposal, including hazardous waste.
The role of Tucson Water is to provide a safe, reliable, and sustainable water source to our customers while managing groundwater use to meet demand in future years.
Tucson Fire Department
The mission of the Tucson Fire Department is to protect the lives and property of the citizens of Tucson from natural and manmade hazards and acute medical emergencies through prevention, education and active intervention.
Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCC)
The CCC serves several important functions. First, it brings with it broad, high-level skill sets, expertise and vision necessary to address the multiple dimensions of climate change in a strategic manner on behalf of the City. The Committee also represents key stakeholder groups that will contribute to the broad climate change and sustainability work that needs to be undertaken over the long term. Among the Committee’s principal functions is to develop a Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Plan (MAP)
Citizens' Water Advisory Committee (CWAC)
Act as the official advisory body on Water Capital Improvement Program planning and rate structure formulation to City Government.
Environmental Services Advisory Committee (ESAC)
Environmental Services provides Tucson citizens and businesses with waste collection and disposal. Other services include:
• Recycling and waste reduction services;
• Operating the City's Los Reales Landfill in compliance with State and Federal regulations;
• Cleaning up groundwater at old landfills;
• Ensuring that the City's Air quality and industrial waste discharge permits are up-to-date and in compliance with regulations.
Stormwater Advisory Committee (SAC)
Advises on stormwater management issues.
City Plans, Codes, and Programs
Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program
HUD’s funding of the City of Tucson Community Services Department’s application for the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program, will target and serve low to very-low income families with children under six years of age— residing or frequenting owner occupied or rental housing built prior to 1978.
The City of Tucson, Environmental Services manages a citywide Brownfields Program, which enables successful redevelopment of adversely impacted properties. The Brownfields Program encourages infill through the redevelopment of brownfield sites. Brownfields redevelopment spurs economic benefits, revitalizes surrounding areas, and reduces development pressure on undisturbed desert areas.
Tucson/Pima Co. Household Hazardous Waste Program
Many hazardous materials have become commonplace in households and businesses. To keep these materials out of the landfill, the City of Tucson and Pima County jointly provide a place where residents and small businesses may bring hazardous items for recycling, exchange, or safe disposal.
Tucson Water’s Water Quality Reports
Tucson Water is committed to providing its customers with timely and meaningful information about the quality of Tucson's drinking water. In an effort to improve communication, we have established a monitoring program to closely track the water quality throughout the distribution system and within Tucson's neighborhoods.
Tucson Fire Business Assistance Unit
The Tucson Fire Department Business Assistance Program was created to assist small to medium size businesses understand and follow the International Fire Code as adopted by the City of Tucson. In addition to these regulations the Business Assistance Program team has arranged to act as a liaison with the various agencies that may have an impact on your business.
City Stormwater Quality Ordinance
The Mayor and Council, on October 18, 2005, passed Stormwater Quality Ordinance, Number 10209 . The goal of this ordinance is to protect stormwater quality entering the City’s stormwater drainage system. Under the Stormwater Quality Ordinance, the City can inspect businesses, facilities and construction sites to ensure that pollutants such as oil, grease, sediment and trash do not get picked up by stormwater runoff and transported to our fragile washes.
Other Government Programs
Pima County DEQ Stormwater Management Program
PDEQ is responsible for implementing the County's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) storm water discharge permit. This permit has a number of requirements including storm water sampling, implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for controlling storm water pollution, inspection of other permitted facilities in the County to ensure that they are implementing their BMPs, performing outreach to permitted facilities and the general public, and submitting reports annually that discuss implementation of these requirements.
Pima County Brownfields Program
The purpose of the Pima County Brownfields Program is to take advantage of available federal, state, and local resources to promote brownfields redevelopment activities.
The mission of the department is to identify and respond to environmental issues in Pima County by providing public service including monitoring, enforcement, information, education and solid waste management. The PDEQ website also provides current air quality information for the metropolitan Tucson area.
Keeping the region's desert waterways clean and absent of litter begins with each and every one of us. Each year, Pima Association of Governments develops a stormwater pollution prevention theme to help remind people of our role to prevent stormwater runoff from becoming contaminated with pollutants.
PAG Air Quality Planning
Pima Association of Governments is the designated air quality planning agency for eastern Pima County. PAG's Air Quality Planning Program develops regional air quality plans, analyzes air quality conformity of transportation plans and ensures that air quality programs comply with federal, state and local air quality requirements.
ADEQ’s Pollution Prevention Program
ADEQ's Pollution Prevention, or P2, program requires Arizona businesses to use their knowledge of their operations to reduce toxic substances at the source, minimize the generation of hazardous waste and prevent the release of pollutants to the environment.
U.S. EPA Pollution Prevention website
Pollution prevention (P2) is reducing or eliminating waste at the source by modifying production processes, promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and re-using materials rather than putting them into the waste stream.
Stormwater Industrial Best Management Practices
Buffelgrass is an invasive, non-native grass that destroys our beautiful Sonoran desert environment. In the past two years, the invasion of buffelgrass has reached a critical stage. Learn how to identify and remove buffelgrass.
Buffelgrass Informational Sheet