My comments are in regard to the PM10 maintenance plan for Payson and the questions that are associated with it.
The most serious air quality problem in this town is severe fugitive dust that is a threat to the health and welfare of many taxpaying residents in the eastern and northeastern sections of town. This is being completely avoided by methods of circumvention by the Town of Payson and approved by an agency that is supposed to protect our air quality by taking actions to achieve this goal. Instead of this, technical terminologies that confuse the average citizen are used as a means to avoid common sense responsibilities to solve this long-existing problem.
Anyone who has been here very long realizes that the prevailing winds are from the southwest. The only monitor that you refer to is on the west side of Highway 87 and therefore, logic says, air quality that is blown away from here cannot be accurately measured. Readings from this location do not reflect factual pollution data as is reported. This gives a false impression of good air quality because much of the pollution cannot be seen with the naked eye, including PM10.
There are about 8.5 miles of unpaved roads in Payson, some of it in the most attractive areas in town. Most of it generates extremely severe fugitive dust for these residential areas as well as for others. To be designated as an attainment area, ADEQ has made it appear that they don't exist in the pollution picture and the suffocating clouds of dust are not really there.
Payson has really done nothing to improve the air quality of the past 20 years except pass a woodstove ordinance. They do claim to have paved four miles of dirt roads in 10 years. What an amazing accomplishment. They are being given credit for things that have nothing to do with the real problem. Their attention to the prevention of creating more dirt roads has nothing to do with the situation.
Phoenix is being forced to pave dirt roads to improve air quality, but Payson's don't count. To claim that ADEQ is monitoring air quality for the whole town with one instrument located where the prevailing wind direction blows pollution away from it is an insult to the public intelligence.