Arizona Revised Statutes § 49-224 Aquifer Identification, Classification And Reclassification

49-224. Aquifer identification, classification and reclassification

A. Not later than June 30, 1987 the director shall, by rule, identify and define the boundaries of all aquifers in this state utilizing, to the maximum extent possible, data available from the department of water resources.

B. All aquifers in this state identified and defined under subsection A of this section and any other aquifers subsequently discovered, identified and defined shall be classified for drinking water protected use unless the classification is changed in the manner provided in subsection C of this section.

C. The director, after consulting with the appropriate groundwater users advisory council established pursuant to title 45, chapter 2, article 2 if the aquifer is in an active management area, and a public hearing held pursuant to section 49-208, may change the classification of an aquifer or part of an aquifer for a protected use other than drinking water on making all of the following findings:

1. The identified aquifer or part of an aquifer is or will be so hydrologically isolated from other aquifers or other parts of the same aquifer that there is no reasonable probability that poorer quality water from the identified aquifer or part of an aquifer will cause or contribute to a violation of aquifer water quality standards in other aquifers or parts of the same aquifer.

2. Water from the identified aquifer or part of an aquifer is not being used as drinking water.

3. The short-term and long-term benefits to the public that would result from the degradation of the quality of the water in the identified aquifer or part of an aquifer below standards established pursuant to section 49-223, subsections A and B would significantly outweigh the short-term and long-term costs to the public of such degradation. Benefits and costs to be considered include economic, social and environmental.

D. Owners or operators of facilities whose discharges are solely responsible for creating an aquifer may petition the director for a classification of the aquifer for a non-drinking water use. The director may, by rule, classify that aquifer for a non-drinking water use upon making the findings prescribed in subsection C, paragraphs 1 and 2 of this section.

E. The director shall provide for public participation in proceedings under this section pursuant to section 49-208 and shall hold at least one public hearing at a location as near as practicable to the aquifer proposed for reclassification.

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Last modified: October 13, 2016