ARC began in Oxford, Mississippi in 1982, while its founder was a Research Associate Professor at the University of Mississippi School of Law. Since 1986, it has been domiciled in Washington State. In 1990 it was the joint founder of Fundacion TUVA, a Costa Rican conservation organization. In addition to its Washington locations, it has staff resident in an office in San Patricio-Melaque, Jalisco State, Mexico. At the end of 2005, ARC and the University of Guadalajara established the first municipal eco-sanitation utility in Mexico, AproSanidad Melaque, located in that Pacific coastal town.