Regarding New Mexico's PFAS situation, Governor Lujan Grisham has weighed in heavily against EPA inaction:
The EPA said it won't join the state in litigation, saying it is "not permitted to bring a judicial action against another Executive Branch department or agency," in a letter to the Governor dated July 19. "EPA's direct and confidential participation in judicial litigation against DOD would conflict with the unitary and uniform execution of the law."
But Lujan Grisham said the agency is not fulfilling its commitment to New Mexicans.
"[EPA's] decision to not do everything under its current enforcement authoritieswhether judicial or administrativeis inconsistent with its mission to protect public health and the environment. Further, it is a demonstrative example of EPA's failure to uphold compliance with federal environmental laws," Lujan Grisham said in an August 2 letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
She added that Wheeler had "personally committed" to U.S. Senator Tom Udall "to assist NMED with legal and technical assistance in a confidential manner" at an April Senate Appropriations hearing.
The EPA said it has provided technical assistance to the state in the form of fact sheets on PFAS in dairy, and a webinar presentation on the contaminants.
Lujan Grisham said that's not enough. "Providing factsheets and offering webinars are not meaningful legal and technical assistance in pursuit of state and federal claims that would compel the U.S. Air Force to take responsibility for delineating the PFAS plume, remediating it and protecting our communities," she said in the letter.
(Article changed on January 13, 2020 at 01:48)