Gov. Janet Napolitano said she will meet "as soon as possible’’ with the state’s congressional delegation to find ways to halt pollution flowing into the Colorado River.
The governor, reacting to conservation group American Rivers naming the Colorado as the country’s most threatened, said she takes little comfort from the report that the water remains safe to drink because it is treated.
"That does not relieve us of our responsibility to look at the long-term health and quality of that water because it is life-sustaining to so many millions in Arizona and in the lower basin states,’’ Napolitano said.
The group found that a facility where rocket fuel is manufactured continues to dump more than 400 pounds of ammonium perchlorate into the river every day.
Napolitano said tests showed perchlorate levels below Hoover Dam as high as 24 parts per billion, nearly twice as high as state guidelines permit.
American Rivers also found that radioactive water enters the river from a nowclosed mill in Utah. And nitrate levels are four times higher than the federal Environmental Protection Agency public health limits, due at least in part to septic tanks by homes and businesses along the Arizona and California sections of the river.
"Many of the sources of pollution that have been identified are federal sources,’’ Napolitano said. "This needs to be a joint statefederal effort.’’
Napolitano also said she is contacting counterparts in California, Nevada and Utah to determine what can be done to clean up the river in the long term.