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Fencing and signs like these in Dragoon, Arizona aim to keep people away from the state's estimated 100,000 abandoned mines Minerals from such mines, many abandoned decades before mining laws imposed clean-up requirements on mine owners, can leach and pose a threat to nearby waterways. (Nicole Neri/Cronkite News)

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WASHINGTON – Arizona could have as many as 100,000 abandoned mines, many leaching toxic minerals into the state’s waterways, but state environmental officials said cleanup has been hampered by the fear of litigation.

October 4, 2022