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Frequently Asked Questions

For the Maricopa County region and part of Pinal County, MAG has been designated in the following four areas:

  1. Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)
  2. Water Quality Management Planning Agency
  3. Lead Air Quality Planning Agency
  4. Solid Waste Management Planning Agency

Metropolitan Planning Organization
As the MPO, MAG has the following transportation-related responsibilities:
  • Conduct a federally certified transportation planning process.
  • Carry out an ongoing public involvement process.
  • Develop and apply management systems (pavement, bridge, congestion, transit, intermodal, safety).
  • Prepare a five-year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) that includes all transportation projects in the region (includes federal, state, local and privately funded projects).
  • Prepare a multimodal Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) with a 20-year time horizon (freeways, arterials, transit, bicycle, pedestrian, demand management).
  • Ensure conformity for all transportation plans, programs and projects with air quality plans.
Water Quality Planning
As the water quality management planning agency for the region, MAG develops an areawide water quality management plan. This requirement is in response to Section 208 of the Water Pollution Control Act of 1972.

Air Quality Planning
As the lead air quality planning agency, MAG determines which elements of a revised Air Quality Implementation Plan will be planned, implemented and enforced by the state and local governments. In addition, MAG produces air quality plans for carbon monoxide, particulates and ozone.

Solid Waste Planning
As the solid waste management planning agency, MAG is responsible for undertaking areawide solid waste management planning. This requirement is in response to Section 4006(b) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976.

At the state level, legislative action, a Governor’s executive order, or a contract may result in state programs or plans. In accordance with these programs or plans, the Governor may designate an agency to develop regional plans or programs. State-designated MAG responsibilities:

  1. Executive Order – Population Updates and Projections.
  2. Legislation – Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 28-6308, 28-6353, 28-6354, 28-6352 and 48-5121 outline transportation requirements.
  3. Contract – Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) contract for human services planning.

Population Updates and Projections
In Arizona, Executive Order 95-2 provides for the preparation of official population updates and projections. The Executive Order authorizes Councils of Governments to prepare official subregional estimates and projections using county projections developed by the Arizona Department of Economic Security (ADES) as control totals. The function previously performed by ADES moved to the Arizona Department of Commerce in December 2007 with a goal of providing more efficient research data and information to Arizona communities, businesses, planners, lawmakers, economists, and others. Executive Order 2009-1 updated this relationship. The Maricopa Association of Governments provides population estimates every year and subregional population projections approximately every three years.

Transportation Requirements
ARS 28-6308, 28-6353, 28-6354, 28-6352 and 48-5121 resulted in various transportation-related responsibilities being given to MAG. The requirements outlined in this legislation include:
  • Plan freeway corridors.
  • Adopt freeway prioritization criteria.
  • Approve freeway priorities.
  • Approve material cost increases.
  • Issue an annual report on the status of the implementation of Proposition 400.
  • Establish a Transportation Policy Committee.
  • Perform life cycle management of streets.
  • Approve major plan amendments.
  • Prepare the Public Transportation Element of the Regional Transportation Plan.
  • Approve changes to the Transit Life Cycle Program that materially impact the performance of the Regional Transportation Plan.
Human Services Planning
On March 3, 1976, the MAG Regional Council authorized the development of a regional human services plan. For more than 30 years, this planning was formally supported by a contract with the Arizona Department of Economic Security. This partnership supported extensive planning with a broad array of community stakeholders including local governments, nonprofit agencies and planners. This collaboration resulted in allocation recommendations for the Social Services Block Grant, a federal funding source that supports a variety of human services programs. In 2010, budget constraints did not permit a new contract to be signed between MAG and DES to support regional human services planning. The partnership continues on an informal basis with MAG serving as the local conduit for community input on human services planning issues facing the region.
This website is a central location for the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Information Services Division (IS) to make available a number of regional datasets related to socioeconomic data, land use, and geography.
Typically municipal and county staff: planners, GIS analysts, economic development personnel and the like. It’s available to anyone, however, who is interested in the socioeconomic characteristics of the MAG region.
The various datasets are updated at different times throughout the year, with some only getting updated every three to five years. See this link for specifics on when data typically gets updated.