Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to fund Yavapai County mine cleanup project

Mar 2, 2024, 7:15 AM

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PHOENIX — The Iron King Mine — Humboldt Smelter Superfund site is set to receive $15 million in federal funding to support cleanup efforts in the Yavapai County mining town, government officials announced Friday.

This batch of funding promises to “clean up the Iron King Mine — Humboldt Smelter Superfund site, permanently consolidate the contaminated mining and smelting waste and ensure the health and safety of nearby residential areas in Yavapai County,” according to a press release from U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.

Superfund sites are manufacturing facilities, processing plants, landfills and mining sites that have been contaminated due to hazardous waste being dumped or otherwise mismanaged.

For much of the 20th century, the site in small town Dewey-Humboldt mined zinc, silver, lead and gold ores, leading to contaminated soils, sediments and surface damages. The Environmental Protection Agency designated it a Superfund site in 2008.

The hope is that the $15 million in federally funded dollars will remove arsenic from the community’s soil as well as establish two waste repositories out of the mine and smelter waste. The repositories would prevent waste from moving further into drainages or the river.

What is the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law?

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that was co-authored by Sinema and shaped by U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly has secured $3.5 billion for Superfund sites and has delivered nearly $40 million for Arizona projects.

Some of the benefits Arizona has already seen from the legislation includes capping orphaned oil and gas wells, reclaiming abandoned mine lands and cleaning up brownfield sites.

Sinema led Senate negotiations with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman in discussions that included Kelly. It passed the Senate 69-30 and the House 228-206 before President Joe Biden signed it into law in November 2021.

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Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to fund Yavapai County mine cleanup project