Delegation members urge DOD to act on Tucson contamination

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Members of Arizona’s congressional delegation are calling on the U.S. Department of Defense to prioritize cleanup of underground contamination linked to two military installations in Tucson.

A letter sent by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly and Reps. Raul Grijalva, Tom O’Halleran and Ann Kirkpatrick to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin cites chemical plumes emanating from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the Air National Guard installation at Tucson International Airport.

Tucson on Tuesday announced plans to shut down a water treatment plan that draws from wells in the airport area.

The delegation members’ letter noted that the shutdown means that Tucson will have to rely more heavily on Colorado River water transported by the Central Arizona Project aqueduct system and on groundwater pumped from wells located away from the contamination plumes.

The letter called for Austin to take steps to complete investigations into the contamination and to give high priority for remediation efforts.

Grijalva said he’ll work to secure remediation funding quickly.


The spelling of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s first name has been corrected in this story and its summary.