Scott DiBiase

Scott DiBiase took over as the director of Pima County’s Department of Environmental Quality on July 17 after nearly 20 years of air quality experience in Pinal County.

DiBiase, 53, had served as the interim director of Pinal County’s Air Quality Control District since November 2022. He was an Air Quality Manager for Pinal County from December 2004 until December 2021, when he became the department’s deputy director.

“I have covered all the bases on the air quality side of things and have built out my experience,” said DiBiase, who arrived with established professional relationships with many people in the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality.

“The program managers, they are professional, dedicated, and want to do right for the environment and the citizens of Pima County. Pinal and Pima are a little different. With Pima being more progressive and environmentally conscious, that was appealing to me. We have a chance to lower greenhouse gas emissions in the county, and our staff is well-suited to do that.”

DiBiase is replacing interim director Ursula Nelson, a former PDEQ director who returned to the county when Barbara Escobar stepped down in January 2023 due to health issues. Nelson will re-retire on Aug. 4 after a brief overlap with DiBiase.

“We have worked with Scott for many years in his roles with Pinal County, and he comes to us with a lot of good experience in the state of Arizona,” Nelson said. “He’s going to be a great asset to Pima County. It’s comforting to know I will be leaving the department in capable hands.”

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