It has been three years since members of the South Mountain Citizens Advisory Team (SMCAT) got together, but on Monday the group will reconvene to discuss air quality before the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS).

The meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on April 22 at South Mountain Community College, 7050 S. 24th St., in the Student Union, Room 100A. It is not a public meeting, meaning it will not be open for public comment, but it will be open to members of the public who wish to attend.

The SMCAT is comprised of various stakeholder groups in the area including the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce, Ahwatukee Village Planning Committee, Foothills Reserve HOA, Gila River Indian Community, Kyrene Elementary District, Lakewood HOA, Mountain Park Ranch HOA and The Foothills HOA. It was started in 2002 to help find a consensus solution for the proposed freeway.

“The CAT’s recommendation is one of many factors the Arizona Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration will consider during the study process examining this proposed freeway,” said a statement on the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) website for the South Mountain Freeway. “While the CAT’s progress is tied to the development and review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, the team will ultimately make a recommendation to the study team as part of an expanded effort to collect diverse input from the community. Likewise, individual members of the community will have an opportunity to review the draft environmental document, attend a public hearing, and provide comments to be included in the Final Environmental Impact Statement.”

At the meeting on Monday the team will be presented with information about air quality in the area from a federal and regional perspective. The purpose of the meeting is to inform the SMCAT about air quality in advance of the release of the DEIS. Panel members for the meeting include representatives from the Federal Highway Administration, Sonoma Technology, Maricopa Association of Governments, Arizona State University and ADOT.

For more information on the freeway and the SMCAT, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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