The Latest: New Mexico warns no swimming in Air Force lake
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on contamination at U.S. Air Force bases in New Mexico (all times local):
The New Mexico Department of Health is warning people not to swim in or drink from Lake Holloman in southern New Mexico.
State officials say recent sampling showed high levels of hazardous chemicals known as per- and polyfluorinated compounds, or PFAS. Attorney General Hector Balderas on Thursday asked the U.S. Air Force to close the lake to the public.
Fed by treated wastewater from Holloman Air Force Base, the lake already is off limits to swimming but state officials reiterated their warning saying people should wash their hands if they get water or foam from the lake on them.
They also warned pet owners to avoid letting their animals drink or come into contact with the water or foam.
The state attorney general’s office is demanding the U.S. Air Force close a publicly accessible lake in southern New Mexico over contamination concerns.
In a letter obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, Attorney General Hector Balderas says recent sampling shows the concentration of hazardous chemicals at Lake Holloman are dozens of times higher than federal health advisory levels.
The state already is preparing to sue the Air Force over groundwater contamination at two bases, arguing that the federal government has a responsibility to clean up plumes of toxic chemicals left behind by past military firefighting activities.
Similar contamination has been found at military sites across the nation, and growing evidence that exposure can be dangerous has prompted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to consider setting maximum levels for the chemicals in drinking water nationwide.