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The U.S. Air Force used a firefighting foam containing PFAS starting in the 1970s. As a result, contamination of groundwater and drinking water in several states was discovered as part of an Air Force-wide inspection of installations for potential PFAS contamination.

In New Mexico, PFAS were discovered in groundwater at and around Cannon Air Force Base and Holloman Air Force Base, which the state was informed of in 2018.
In January 2019, the United States filed a complaint against the New Mexico Environment Department challenging Cannon Air Force Base’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act permit’s definition of hazardous waste. NMED included perfluoroalkyl substances in the definition of hazardous waste which would require action at Cannon Air Force Base related to perfluoroalkyl substances. Documents relevant to that case are below.

August 18, 2021 - Draft Aqueous Film-Forming Foam Release Areas Phase 1 Remedial Investigation Work Plan May 2021 Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico

April 2, 2021: Amended complaint filed by U.S. | Answer to amended complaint

March 31, 2020: Court opinion on motion to dismiss

April 10, 2019: U.S. surreply in opposition to motion to dismiss

March 14, 2019: U.S. opposition to motion to dismiss

Feb 28, 2019: NMED motion to dismiss

Jan. 17, 2019: Complaint filed by U.S. | Cannon RCRA Permit | Cannon RCRA Permit attachments

In March 2019, the New Mexico Environment Department and the New Mexico Attorney General filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico against the United States for PFAS contamination caused at Cannon and Holloman Air Force Bases and seeking a determination that an imminent and substantial endangerment exists at these bases. This case has been transferred to a multi-district litigation against the product manufacturers as well as the United States. New Mexico has filed a petition for Writ of Mandamus with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in an attempt to have this case moved out of the multi-district litigation. Documents relevant to that case are below.

April 9, 2021: Answer from U.S. to New Mexico’s petition for writ of mandamus | Answer from Tyco Fire Products, LP, Chemguard, Inc.; and 3M Company to New Mexico’s petition for writ of mandamus | Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee’s response to New Mexico’s petition for writ of mandamus

Feb. 8, 2021: Request for U.S. response to writ of mandamus

Feb. 1, 2021: Writ of mandamus filed by New Mexico

June 2, 2020: U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transfer order

Feb. 20, 2020: U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation conditional transfer order

Sept. 27, 2019: State legislators brief in support of New Mexico’s response in opposition to cross motion to dismiss

July 24, 2019: Amended complaint filed by New Mexico | Motion for preliminary injunction filed by New Mexico | Brief in support of motion for preliminary injunction

March 5, 2019: Complaint filed by New Mexico

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