New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez Files Amended Complaint For … – Los Alamos Reporter

DEPT. News Release from the Department of Justice

The New Mexico Department of Justice and New Mexico Environment Department filed a complaint this afternoon against 3M and DuPont for contaminating the natural resources of the state and endangering the public’s health.

The amended complaint contains several new elements in the State’s claims.

  1. Addition of other PFAS contaminated areas outside Cannon Air Force Base : Holloman Air Force Base, Kirtland Air Force Base, White Sands Missile Range, and Fort Wingate
  2. The U.S. Department of the Army is listed as a defendant in the lawsuit for its alleged culpability of knowing about PFAS contamination.
  3. The Department of Defense is seeking costs, damages and other relief under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) PFAS regulations.

Raul Torrez, Attorney General, said: “We applaud EPA for listing certain PFAS or ‘forever chemical’ substances as hazardous under the Superfund law.” This allows us to pursue damages and costs for federal facilities as stated in our amended lawsuit. To protect public safety, we are committed to holding responsible all parties, including federal agencies.

James Kenney, New Mexico Environment Secretary, said that the U.S. Department of Defense has failed to clean up PFAS in New Mexico for over five years. This has left New Mexicans to deal with a toxic legacy of PFAS pollution. New Mexico’s Environment Cabinet Secretary James Kenney said that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with its science-driven leadership in PFAS issues, will now hold the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for the monetary cost of clean-ups and damage to our environment.

The release of PFAS in the soil surrounding Cannon Air Force Base, and other DOD installations has damaged the most precious natural resource on Earth – our water. Maggie Hart Stebbins, New Mexico’s Natural Resources Trustees, said that PFAS contamination has now contaminated the freshwater aquifers upon which communities and hardworking New Mexicans depend. “Our residents are suffering when they cannot use this groundwater, and it is time for the Federal Government to compensate the communities who bear the burden of the pollution.”

Since the 1940s, these chemicals have been used in a variety of products that are resistant to water and grease, including nonstick cookware and clothing. They are so ubiquitous that they can be found in almost everyone’s blood and environment. PFAS, also known as “forever chemical,” are mainly known for their resistance against oil, heat and water. PFAS has contaminated air, soils, drinking water and other natural resources. PFAS have also been proven to increase the risks of cancer, thyroid disease and obesity.