April 21, 2020

Administrative Enforcement for PFAS, ASAP: States Need More EPA Administrative Action

Katie Holcomb, David Rhee, and Christian Smith

Cannon Air Force Base (AFB) sits on 3,789 acres in eastern New Mexico. Located near the town of Clovis, the base is the largest employer in Curry County. In 2017, perfluorooctanoic acid  (PFOA), a per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS), was found in the groundwater near Cannon Air Force Base. Other PFAS, including PFOA and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), have since been found at Holloman Air Force Base in southern New Mexico. In November of 2018, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) under the New Mexico Water Quality Act NMSA 1978, ยง 74-6-2(B) to Cannon AFB for PFAS contamination. The NOV asked Cannon AFB for a time line and a cleanup plan. NMED went on to file a lawsuit in New Mexico Federal District Court against the Air Force in 2019.

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