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General News    H4'ed 12/18/19

"We Need to Clean up this Mess!" New Mexico Senator Heinrich on PFAS Pollution

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Heinrich Presses Acting Defense Secretary On PFAS Contamination In a Senate Armed Services committee hearing, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) asks Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan about the Pentagon's ...
(Image by YouTube, Channel: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich)
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Last year, the U.S. Air Force confirmed that firefighting foam containing toxic PFAS chemicals used around Cannon and Holloman Air Force Bases in New Mexico had contaminated nearby groundwater supplies.

Recent scientific studies link PFAS chemicals to a number of serious adverse health effects. The contamination at Cannon affected several nearby agricultural wells, creating major disruptions for local dairy farmers. One dairy producer had to lay off 40 employees and quarantine 4,000 cows.

It's clear that we cannot wait to clean up this toxic mess and protect the health and safety of impacted communities and businesses. I strongly believe that the federal government has a responsibility to clean up after itself and an obligation to protect the health of military communities like Clovis.

That's why, as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I fought hard to include amendments to this year's national defense bill--which the Senate just passed--to require the Department of Defense to remedy contaminated sites like those at Cannon Air Force Base, provide clean water to local farms, and compensate affected landowners.

These PFAS provisions came on top of other major gains I've fought hard to include for our men and women in uniform. The defense bill supports the national security missions and infrastructure investments at all of New Mexico's military bases, national defense labs, and test ranges. When I work on this legislation every year, I strive to make sure our missions are well funded and aimed at having an enduring presence in New Mexico to help meet the national security needs of the future.

I am firmly committed to ensuring that our military has the tools and resources it needs to keep our nation safe. I encourage you to write to me about this and other issues important to you and your community.



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