WASHINGTON, D.C. — Wednesday morning, New Mexico Environment Department Cabinet Secretary James Kenney testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the public health and environmental threats of PFAS in New Mexico.
“States commonly tackle problems impacting their communities,” Secretary Kenney told committee members. “What’s not common is when such efforts are met with federal lawsuits.”
The State is currently in litigation with the U.S. Air Force over its efforts to compel the federal government to clean up groundwater contamination caused by decades of use of a PFAS-containing firefighting foam at Cannon and Holloman Air Force Bases. The contamination threatens public health, the environment, and the economy.
In the meantime, the Environment Department is investigating the contamination – and state taxpayers are footing the bill.
Secretary Kenney urged Congress to take action to recognize in federal statute that discarded PFAS is a hazardous waste that should be regulated from manufacture to disposal. He also asked Congress to provide additional funding to states like New Mexico that must take on additional costs related to managing PFAS contamination and protecting communities.
A video of the hearing, “PFAS: the View from Affected Citizens and States,” and the Secretary’s written testimony is available here.