Going Green: What Pinal County is doing for Sustainability and Environmental Responsibility

Before “green” was a trend, Pinal County was well on its way to a variety of earth-friendly activities and programs. Here’s a look at a few of them

  • Sustainable Pinal Citizen Task Force consisted of nine members that were appointed by the Pinal County Board of Supervisors. The Task Force was to focus on specific areas and make recommendations. The report discusses the specific topics and recommends adoption and implementation of those recommendations. For further information, please read the report: Sustainable Pinal – It’s Where You Want To Be.
  • County buildings feature energy-efficient lighting and HVAC equipment. A performance contract dating back to 2000 has resulted in energy savings of $1.2 million.
  • The County’s average energy savings as a result of energy efficient retrofits and replacements is nearly $30,000 – per month!
  • Only ultra low sulfur diesel fuel is used in the County’s heavy equipment.
  • There are 18 vanpools serving a variety of County buildings throughout the region. These vanpools eliminate thousands of single vehicle commute trips, cutting air emissions, fuel consumption, tire wear, etc.
  • The 15-point Growth Planning Initiative has several components that impact the County’s future development with sustainability in mind – through preservation, conservation, energy efficiency, appropriate land use, water use, air quality and more.
  • Pinal County has adopted the 2007 International Energy Conservation Code as published by the ICC, which provides guidelines for more energy-efficient construction.
  • Pinal County allows for energy-efficient alternative residential construction, including adobe, rammed-earth and straw bale construction.
  • The County also allows separate gray-water systems in buildings which allow both energy and water conservation benefits.
  • The Pinal County Board of Supervisors adopted the Open Space and Trails Master Plan that seeks to link people and population centers with the parks, trails and open space they value so much.
  • There are several policies and practices that demonstrate the county leaders’ stewardship of the environment where water is concerned.
  • Pinal County is looking at water conservation technologies and applications at the residential and commercial level through the Zoning Code update and the Comprehensive Plan.
  • The County vigorously encourages the reuse and recharge of effluent or “gray water” for lakes, fountains and golf courses.
  • The County is taking a leadership role in conjunction with the Central Arizona Association of Governments (CAAG) to develop a comprehensive approach to administering the EPA and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Water Quality Assurance Management Plan.
  • Almost 2,600 TONS of recycled paper, cardboard, aluminum, plastic and newspaper were recycled in Pinal County during 2008, not counting tires.
  • Pinal County is aggressively targeting desert dumping to the point of having investigators and civil penalties for those who are caught.
  • The County sponsors the Adopt a Highway program for county roads – 39 cleanups were held in 2007.