On June 23, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham petitioned U.S. EPA to include PFAS under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act as a listed hazardous waste, which would set a clear regulatory path for New Mexico and dozens of other states grappling with PFAS contamination.
“In the absence of a federal framework, states continue to create a patchwork of regulatory standards for PFAS across the U.S. to address these hazardous chemicals. This leads to inequity in public health and environmental protections,” said Lujan Grisham. “This petition seeks swift EPA action to create a federal framework that will equally protect all communities across the U.S. by declaring PFAS what it is – a hazardous waste under federal law.”
New Mexico Environment Department Cabinet Secretary James Kenney delivered the same message during testimony on June 9 before the Senate Committee on the Environment & Public Works. The Governor’s petition was also shared with the full committee and entered into the hearing docket.
“The federal government sued New Mexico to prevent having to clean up PFAS in 2019 and continues its litigation today, saddling New Mexicans with the cost of litigation and the cost of cleanup,” Kenney noted. “This Department will not back down nor tacitly agree with the federal government in abandoning communities that need our help in protecting their health, environment, property values, and economy. PFAS is a hazardous waste and must be federally regulated as such so states can protect communities.”
ECOS Executive Director Don Welsh forwarded the petition to ECOS members on June 25. For more information, see here.