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Office of the Ombudsman

The Office of the Ombudsman was created to support small and large businesses, trade associations, public interest groups and individual community members with all aspects of the regulatory process.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Ombudsman Office is to provide the public with access and assistance to ensure an open and transparent regulatory process, to encourage effective communication and to assist in the resolution of complaints and conflicts.

The goals of the Ombudsman are to:

  • Encourage and promote a better understanding of Maricopa County's air quality mission

  • Provide guidance on air quality rules and regulations

  • Assist the businesses community to achieve cost effective compliance with air quality regulations

  • Engage in a cooperative effort to identify and advance solutions to air quality compliance challenges

What is an Ombudsman?

An Ombudsman provides assistance to individuals and organizations with unresolved concerns and seeks to achieve a fair resolution. Importantly, the Air Quality Ombudsman reports to the Director of the Department and is empowered to work with department staff to resolve a concern. The Ombudsman acts as an impartial, unbiased party during disputes. The Ombudsman can investigate a complaint and make a recommendation, but has no direct, legal authority to make or reverse a decision.

What can the Ombudsman do for me?

Having a point of access to help resolve a concern is sometimes useful and the role of the Ombudsman is to provide a point of contact to seek a resolution of a conflict. The services provided by the Ombudsman are open to anyone, including businesses, members of public interest groups and private citizens. In many cases, individuals will seek the support of the Ombudsman because they may not have adequate resources to play a role in the development of regulations that affect them. If you have an interest in a specific air quality issue, the Office of the Ombudsman can help you gain access to the regulatory process.

In addition, the Ombudsman will investigate your complaint or concern with the fairness of rules, regulatory development and program implementation. The intention is to work with you and the department’s air quality managers to develop a fair solution. It is important to keep in mind that the Ombudsman seeks to achieve resolution of a conflict. The Ombudsman’s role is to consider all information in an unbiased manner and to aid in the resolution of a dispute that may arise between those who must comply with air quality regulations and the department.

The Office of the Ombudsman may, upon request, review the circumstances related to the issuance of a Notice of Violation (NOV) or Opportunity to Correct (OTC). Additionally, the Office of the Ombudsman may, upon request, review a penalty assessment should the recipient decline to accept the department’s final offer of settlement. In each instance, a formal, written request for Ombudsman review must be made within 10 days of receipt of the department’s action. The written request should provide sufficient information to allow the Office of the Ombudsman to make an informed and objective review of the issues raised by the respondent. The Ombudsman review may result in the affirmation of the NOV on which the enforcement action was based, a recommendation that the NOV be modified or rescinded or a recommendation to modify the penalty offer.

Office of the Ombudsman Contacts

Phone: (602) 506-1813

If you need assistance from the Office of the Ombudsman, please complete the Request for Assistance form. Submit your completed Request for Assistance Form electronically to the email address listed above and you should receive a response within one business day.