New Mexico wants Air Force to halt public access to contaminated lake


A campsite at Lake HollomanJoshua Hernandez/AP

❝ New Mexico’s top prosecutor is demanding that the U.S. Air Force close a publicly accessible lake at Holloman Air Force Base, saying…the concentration of hazardous chemicals at the site poses a risk to public health and the environment.

…Attorney General Hector Balderas told Air Force officials that sampling shows the contamination — linked to chemicals known as per-and-polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS — are dozens of times higher than federal health advisory levels.

❝ In the case of perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, the samples showed 84 times more than the advisory levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency…

❝ New Mexico is preparing to sue the Air Force over groundwater contamination at two bases, arguing that the federal government has a responsibility to clean up plumes of toxic chemicals left behind by past military firefighting activities.

You might think the responsible answer from the military – after all, part of our federal government – would be to work to remedy toxic conditions resulting from their own activities. But, then, this is the United States. The culturally moronic response – “What me worry?” – isn’t limited to cartoon characters. Our politicians, generals, profiteers from the whole military-industrial complex persist in feeling they’re exempt from responsibility to the public-at-large. All we’re allowed is to foot the bills for all of it.

2 thoughts on “New Mexico wants Air Force to halt public access to contaminated lake

  1. Cassandra says:

    “See where PFAS pollution has been confirmed in the American West : Western states lag behind in both monitoring and regulating the class of ‘forever chemicals.’” (High country News 5/30/19) https://www.hcn.org/articles/public-health-see-where-pfas-contamination-has-been-confirmed-in-the-west Note that as of 2007 it was estimated that PFAS were in the blood of 98% of all Americans. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2072821/
    The Social Science Environmental Health Institute and the Environmental Working Group have produced an interactive map of PFAS Contamination In the U.S. using data from the Environmental Protection Agency. Go to https://www.ewg.org/interactive-maps/2019_pfas_contamination/map/?_ga=2.10063282.626177992.1557427649-1270898533.1557427649 Click on marked sites for more information. A spreadsheet of site-specific details is available @ https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HxLAzOmFdMh7V-mey4ExTPsnNKarEcGG6klBWZH8auA/edit#gid=676990244

  2. Worser says:

    “One day after President Trump delivered a speech preaching of his administration’s environmental achievements, he threatened to veto a military spending bill in part due to provisions that aim to clean up a toxic, cancer-linked chemical found near military bases.
    “If H.R. 2500 were presented to the President in its current form, his advisors would recommend that he veto it,” the White House wrote in a statement Tuesday night.
    The House has not yet voted on its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) but Trump on Tuesday highlighted among its various sticking points two provisions that would address the clean up of a class of chemicals abbreviated as PFAS.” https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/452507-trump-threatens-veto-on-defense-bill-that-targets-forever-chemicals
    “DOD has responsibility to clean up after itself” U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D NM) July 14, 2019 https://www.easternnewmexiconews.com/story/2019/07/14/voices/dod-has-responsibility-to-clean-up-after-itself/162351.html
    “‘Forever chemicals’ have been found in bottled water brands sold at Whole Foods and CVS, and it’s part of a larger contamination problem” https://www.businessinsider.com/pfas-bottled-water-whole-foods-cvs-2019-7
    Multinational manufacturer 3M, which developed two types of industrial chemical now found in the blood of virtually all Americans, has known since 2001 that those chemicals were entering the food supply, according to a newly surfaced study. https://qz.com/1643554/3m-knew-pfas-was-contaminating-us-food-supply/

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