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New Mexico sues Air Force over contamination at Cannon


The New Mexico Environment Department and the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General filed suit today against the United States Air Force to compel the military to address contamination caused by decades of discharge of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at Cannon and Holloman Air Force bases.

“No one has a right to pollute New Mexico’s vital water resources,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “We will fight to ensure that New Mexico families and military families have access to safe, clean water. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson must do the right thing.”

“In the absence of cooperation by the Air Force, the New Mexico Environment Department will move swiftly and decisively to ensure protections for both public health and the environment,” said Environment Secretary James Kenney. “In addition to violating environmental laws, the Air Force violated our public trust. Today we begin holding them accountable.”

The complaint filed in New Mexico federal court alleges violations of the state’s Hazardous Waste Act and that PFAS contamination constitutes an imminent and substantial danger to communities on and off base.

The state is requesting immediate injunctive relief from the court that requires the Air Force to clean up contamination at the two bases and to pay for abatement activities.

In continued efforts to address this matter, the New Mexico Environment Department and New Mexico Department of Health recently collected additional water samples at locations around Cannon and Holloman.

Laboratory results will be returned in the next to two three weeks and posted online.