Kelly, Sinema Urge EPA to Address Pollution Challenges in Arizona, Support Economic Growth

Today, Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to work in partnership with Arizona stakeholders to adopt solutions that improve air quality while supporting Arizona’s role as a hub for key industries of the future, including microchip manufacturing, battery production, and electric vehicle production.    

The letter follows a visit to Arizona by Joe Goffman, Assistant Administrator of the Office of Air and Radiation, which was requested by Kelly and Sinema. During his visit, Goffman met with Governor Hobbs, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chair Jack Sellers, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, power utilities and air quality officials from Maricopa County, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, and the Maricopa Association of Governments, which is the agency responsible for air quality planning in the Phoenix region.   

In their letter, Kelly and Sinema follow up on that productive visit and ask Goffman for his commitment to continue collaborating with Arizona leaders and stakeholders on air quality and economic growth challenges.   

“As you saw on your visit, Arizona is a growing state that is leading the nation in attracting the industries of the future that will build the technologies that decarbonize our economy, protect our national security, and create great paying jobs for Arizona families,” Kelly and Sinema said after pointing out challenges and recommendations. “We are committed to making sure that Arizona makes meaningful progress toward improving air quality in the coming years, and we hope that EPA will continue to work together in partnership with our offices, the State of Arizona, Maricopa County, the Maricopa Association of Governments, and our partners, to identify actionable solutions which will improve air quality, without undermining Arizona’s growing clean energy economy.”  

Click here to read the letter. See below what Arizona leaders said about the meeting:  

“I would like to thank both Senator Kelly and Senator Sinema for inviting Maricopa County to a discussion with Joe Goffman of the EPA regarding the issues facing this region. It is only through dialogue that we can continue to protect our resident’s health while promoting a diverse and forward looking economy,” said Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers.  

“We appreciate Sen. Kelly and Sen. Sinema’s work to help facilitate this important meeting with EPA to discuss the unique challenges facing the Valley and the rest of the state when it comes to air quality,” Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry President and CEO Danny Seiden said. “We believe that we can achieve improved air quality and still ensure robust economic growth, but those goals require improved dialogue and cooperation with federal regulators. Arizona’s job creators thank Sen. Kelly and Sen. Sinema for their work to bring all parties to the table.” 

“On behalf of the 32 cities, towns, counties, and Native nations of the Maricopa Association of Governments, we are encouraged by the expressed commitment to continued partnership. We are appreciative of Senator Sinema and Senator Kelly’s continued engagement in this most critical issue,” said Ed Zuercher, Executive Director of MAG. 


In the letter, Kelly and Sinema ask Goffman to commit to meeting specific deadlines for taking certain actions related to Maricopa County’s nonattainment of health-based standards for ground-level ozone pollution, the EPA’s proposed Good Neighbor Rule for Arizona, and the proposed rule for carbon emissions from electricity generation facilities. The letter also asks that both Kelly, a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Sinema, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, receive regular updates on EPA’s progress toward addressing all the action steps discussed during Goffman’s visit.