Pima Association of Governments Citizen Advisory Committee
Work is now beginning on the formation of the regional 2045 long-range transportation plan. Also known as the 2045 RMAP (Regional Mobility and Accessibility Plan), PAG is now looking for citizens who want to invest their time in the planning effort.
The work is aimed at identifying the long-term transportation needs of the region. Over time though, the Citizen Advisory Committee will work with the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) on framing the continuation of the RTA. It expires in 2026 and will need to go back to the voters for re-approval. What the RTA responsibilities are, and how much the sales tax is going to be are all a part of this reauthorization planning effort.
If you’d like to get involved in this planning work, you need to get your application in by 5pm on Thursday, April 19th. To find out more information on the process go to their website at www.pagregion.com, or www.rtamobility.com. You can also call Paki Rico for more information at 495.1450.
Protesting TEP’s petition to install gas-fired engines
50 people from the neighborhood showed up to protest the gas-fired engines being installed at Tucson’s Sundt Generating Station. The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality’s (PDEQ) held a public hearing on TEP’s plan to replace two 1950s era steam units with ten natural gas-fired combustion engines. Several members of our community spoke about how carbon dioxide from the engines would speed up climate change and how that would devastate our city.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, TEP’s proposed engines are fossil-fuel based generating units that would create significant greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Pima Department of Environmental Quality, the project expects to cause an increase in emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds.
But those comments could have no impact. We were limited to commenting on how TEP’s permit meets the criteria for issuance prescribed in the Arizona Revised Statutes, Section § 49-481 of the Pima County Code. All those important comments about climate change were disregarded because CO2 isn’t included in Pima’s code. (I know! I couldn’t believe it either!) EPA administer Scott Pruitt is working on repealing the Clean Power Plan. (Sign a letter opposing it here.)
A few of us from Sustainable Tucson’s Environmental advocacy group and the Sierra Club spent hours combing through Pima’s code — trying to find some inconsistencies or anything we can use stop the PDEQ from issuing a permit for the RICE engines.