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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 was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2024.