Read the full article by Tony Davis (Daily Star)

“Arizona could get more than $70 million annually for five years to clean up PFAS-tainted groundwater if a new infrastructure bill that just passed the U.S. Senate becomes law, says U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly’s office.

About $72 million a year would flow into the state under the bill, which could be used to remove PFAS contamination from groundwater supplies in the Tucson and Phoenix areas, said Jacob Peters, Kelly’s communications director.

But Tucson likely wouldn’t be the first place to get cleanup money, if a statement Wednesday from Arizona’s top environmental official becomes a formal policy. That’s because people here aren’t drinking PFAS-tainted water today.

The $72 million a year would represent a major step toward getting cleanups on track in the state’s two big urban areas.

Nathaniel Sigal, a policy advisor for Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, said he’s heard projections that a comprehensive PFAS groundwater cleanup in Tucson could cost $110 million to $140 million. The federal money in the pending infrastructure bill ‘would be a great start,’ Sigal said.

PFAS is an abbreviation for a group of commonly used, human-made chemicals known as perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances that are very persistent in the environment and the human body, meaning they don’t break down easily.

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Misael Cabrera called Kelly’s announcement ‘really good news.’

But when asked which areas of the state would most likely be the first to get any of this cleanup money, he said the first priority would be to spend the money in places with ongoing human health risks, ‘in places where people are currently drinking the water.'”…