PHOENIX (March 21, 2022) – Air pollution caused by dust is a concern for Maricopa County residents throughout the year, but the removal of weeds during spring and summer months becomes a major nuisance for air quality. Improper weed removal increases air pollution by emitting large amounts of dust into the air that we breathe. The Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) highly encourages property owners to take mitigating steps to ensure that weed removal does not contribute to unhealthy air conditions.
The Valley’s climate and topography allow dust and other pollutants to become easily entrained in the atmosphere. Dust polluted air may cause respiratory and cardiovascular health problems. The dust particles can be so small that they can enter the lungs and may even get into the bloodstream.
“Providing clean air for Maricopa County residents is MCAQD’s mission,” stated MCAQD Director, Philip McNeely, “Our goal is to increase awareness about proper weed removal practices to reduce air pollution, so that the community can safely and comfortably engage in outdoor activities.”
To help residents breathe cleaner air, MCAQD urges property owners to reduce the amount of dust generated when removing weeds. Prepare the land by applying water. When the ground is saturated with moisture, the weeds can be properly be removed without generating large plumes of dust. Stabilizing the soil with water after removing the weeds also prevents loose dust particles from being easily blown by the wind.
A permit from MCAQD is required when removing weeds by mechanized equipment (discing, blading or scraping) if this activity disturbs more than 0.10 of an acre (4,356 square feet). If the weeds are removed with a mower, weed eater, or hand tool, a permit is not required.
For more information on weed removal and/or permit requirements, contact the MCAQD Business Assistance Unit at 602-506-5102 or visit the department’s website at Maricopa.gov/aq.
Residents may report air quality concerns or dust control issues by calling the department at 602-372-2703 or filing a report online at Maricopa.gov/2132/Report-a-Violation.
Access Weed Removal – Tips for Dust Control Flyer >>
About Maricopa County Air Quality Department
MCAQD’s mission is to improve the air of Maricopa County so customers, residents, and visitors can live, work, and play in a healthy environment. MCAQD is governed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follows air quality standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act. For air quality information and resources, visit CleanAirMakeMore.com.
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