Air Force Cited for Groundwater Contamination at New Mexico Base

Firefighters work to extinguish a simulated engine fire at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Aug. 2, 2012. Chemicals associated with firefighting foam once used at the base have been detected in groundwater. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Eboni Prince)
Firefighters work to extinguish a simulated engine fire at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Aug. 2, 2012. Chemicals associated with firefighting foam once used at the base have been detected in groundwater. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Eboni Prince)

SANTA FE, N.M. — The New Mexico Environment Department has issued a notice of violation to the U.S. Air Force for failing to properly address groundwater contamination at a base near Clovis.

Chemicals associated with firefighting foam once used at Cannon Air Force Base have been detected in groundwater on and near the military installation.

That has prompted requests by state officials for more tests and a study to determine the extent of the toxic plume.

Environment Department officials announced Tuesday that it is requiring swift action from the base to comply with specific requirements of state law to protect human health and the environment.

They say failure to comply with the violation notice could result in an administrative compliance order that can assess civil penalties up to $15,000 per day for each violation.

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