State reaches settlement with Cannon AFB over alleged permit violations

New Mexico News
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SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Tuesday, the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission approved a settlement agreement between the New Mexico Environmental Department (NMED) and Cannon Air Force Base for alleged violations of state environmental groundwater permitting laws.

The agreement is in regards to an administrative compliance order issued by NMED earlier in 2020 due to Cannon discharging without a groundwater permit and failing to provide NMED with information about PFAS, a class of manmade chemical with harmful health effects, in the discharged water. These permits are issued to entities that release wastewater and where contaminants can enter the environment.

As part of the administrative compliance order, the U.S. Department of Defense will have to pay $250,947.60. Cannon had submitted a complete discharge permit renewal and modification application to NMED earlier this year, in accordance with the administrative compliance order.

The state remains in litigation with the U.S. Department of Defense over fixing the PFAS contamination at Cannon and Holloman Air Force Bases. The contamination was caused by decades of use of PFAS-containing firefighting foams.

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