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24 states get $560M for cleanup of wells (access required)

The Interior Department is giving Arizona and 23 other states a total of $560 million to start cleaning high-priority derelict oil and gas wells abandoned on state and private land, the department said August 25. 

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Feds: Gopher tortoise not threatened over most of its range (access required)

Gopher tortoises — burrowers whose extensive homes shelter many other animals — are generally doing well and need federal protection only in the small area where they were declared threatened 35 years ago, according to the federal government, though the decision is likely to disappoint an Arizona-based environmental organization.