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Attorney General Mayes Announces Investigation Into Lead-Covered Cables  

by Pleasant View

Attorney General Kris Mayes today announced an investigation into lead-covered cables that may be present throughout Arizona. Recent reports have identified lead-cables as a potential environmental and public health risk.

“Ensuring the health and safety of Arizonans is one of my top priorities,” said Attorney General Mayes. “This inquiry on lead-covered cables is a critical step in assessing and mitigating any potential environmental or public health-risks to our communities. I expect full cooperation from telecom companies as we work to protect Arizonans from any risks associated with the presence of lead-cables in our state.”

As part of the investigation, the Attorney General has sent letters to 200 telecommunications operators, including Verizon, AT&T and CenturyLink, requesting information on lead-covered cables they may own.

Lead levels in such cables reportedly exceed the Environmental Protection Agency’s safety standards for drinking water and soil. The Attorney General’s Office is collecting data on the type, location, and length of these cables, and whether they are aerial, underground, or underwater.

One instance of a lead-covered cable traversing the Colorado River from Nevada into Mohave County has already been identified by the Attorney General’s Office. In a separate letter to AT&T, the Attorney General has requested specific information on this cable placed by Bell Telephone Company in 1949.

Telecom operators have been asked to respond within 30 days with details about the cables they own. The Attorney General’s Office may request additional information based on the responses received.

This effort is part of Attorney General Mayes’ broader work to protect Arizona’s residents and the environment. Earlier this year, Attorney General Mayes sued chemical manufacturers for polluting Arizona groundwater with PFAS, also-known as “forever chemicals.”

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