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Air Quality

Posted on: March 8, 2023

Improper Weed Removal Impacts Maricopa County’s Air Quality

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Phoenix (March 08, 2023) - The warmer, drier conditions during spring and summer months contribute to increased concentrations of dust in the air, creating a nuisance for Maricopa County residents. During this time of year, the improper removal of weeds worsens these dusty conditions by emitting large amounts of dust into the air that we breathe. The Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) highly encourages property owners to take mitigating steps to ensure that weed removal does not contribute to unhealthy air conditions.


The Valley’s climate and topography allow dust and other pollutants to become easily entrained in the atmosphere. Dust particles can be so small that they can enter the lungs and travel into the bloodstream, causing respiratory and cardiovascular health problems.


MCAQD Director, Philip McNeely explains, ‘By providing County residents and businesses with resources and information about proper weed removal, we can ensure that our community works together to reduce dust pollution and help everyone breathe cleaner air during the warmer seasons.’


MCAQD urges property owners to reduce the amount of dust generated when removing weeds by prepping areas with water. When the ground is saturated with moisture, the weeds can be properly be removed without generating large plumes of dust. Stabilizing the soil with water after removing the weeds also prevents loose dust particles from being easily blown by the wind.


A permit from MCAQD is required when removing weeds by mechanized equipment (discing, blading or scraping) if this activity disturbs more than 0.10 of an acre (4,356 square feet). If the weeds are removed with a mower, weed eater, or hand tool, a permit is not required.


For more information on weed removal and/or permit requirements, contact the MCAQD Business Assistance Unit at 602-506-5102 or visit


Residents may report air quality concerns or dust control issues by calling the department at 602-372-2703 or filing a report online at


Access Weed Removal – Tips for Dust Control Flyer >>

Media Contact [English/Spanish]: Ari Halpert,  cell 602-501-1266,

About Maricopa County Air Quality Department


MCAQD’s mission is to improve the air of Maricopa County so customers, residents, and visitors can live, work, and play in a healthy environment. MCAQD is governed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follows air quality standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act. For air quality information and resources, visit


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Download MCAQD’s Clean Air Make More app! It is free to download and use and is available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad and on Google Play for Android.

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