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Panel recommends two-year reauthorization of ADEQ

A panel of lawmakers has recommended the reauthorization of the state Department of Environmental Quality to continue its work for another two years before facing another legislative inquest.

But the lawmakers also want to set restrictions on the department in exchange for the reauthorization. One is a ban on any initiative proposed by the Western Climate Initiative, a regional consortium of states that aims to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

The joint House and Senate committee voted Nov. 13 to ask the Legislature to prevent ADEQ from enacting a cap-and-trade system that is not approved by lawmakers.

Rep. Michele Reagan, a Scottsdale Republican, said that needs to be a condition of reauthorization to prevent such a program, which would impact businesses, from "just (being) done by executive order."

All state agencies face the periodic legislative reviews, known as "sunset" reviews. Most are recommended for 10-year reauthorizations. But Litchfield Park Republican Sen. Robert Blendu downplayed the impacts of the recommendation given by the panel.

"Whether its two (years) or it's 10 or it's 20, it doesn't matter," he said, noting the Legislature will have ultimate approval next year.

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