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Infrastructure bill includes funding to help clean up toxic waste in Arizona

A bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by Congress could help clean up toxic waste sites in Arizona.

The bill reinstates an excise tax on chemical manufacturers to help pay for superfund cleanup sites.

Sandy Bahr of the Grand Canyon chapter of the Sierra Club said that cleaning up toxic waste sites is important in a dry state like Arizona because they can impact groundwater. They can also affect low-income communities.

“So there’s a real environmental justice component," she said, "as well as you know just the importance of cleaning up water so it’s usable," Bahr said. 

She said the funding could help clean up sites throughout the state, including abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation.

Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.