State stopped key groundwater monitoring, auditor general says`

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has failed for years to monitor groundwater for pesticides and other contaminants, review found. /Photo AZPM Staff

By Andrew Oxford | Arizona Public Media

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has failed for years to monitor groundwater for pesticides and other contaminants, according to a new report by the state Auditor General.

The report said the agency has not conducted groundwater and soil monitoring of agricultural pesticides since 2013, despite a law requiring it to check for such pollution.

And the agency has not conducted other key groundwater monitoring since 2017, according to the report.

“We do need to do that,” Misael Cabrera, the department’s director, told Arizona Public Media. “We are submitting budget requests this year to get additional resources so we can resume that sampling.”

Cabrera said the department has faced limited resources and chose to prioritize other issues, such as drinking water quality.

But he said the department accepts the report’s findings and will implement its recommendations.

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