Months after suing the federal government over the discharge of toxic, cancer-causing chemicals that have tainted New Mexico's groundwater, Attorney General Hector Balderas now says he considers the lawsuit against the U.S. Air Force a public "corruption case."
"It's my position, looking at the entire set of facts, that this is not just an environmental battle for environmental cleanup," Balderas said during a phone interview Friday. "This is absolutely a corruption case, where a powerful federal entity needs to account to what have been very committed and loyal citizens in New Mexico.
Firefighters from the 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron control a fire during a training exercise at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Jan. 18, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Lane T. Plummer)
New Mexico Environment Secretary James Kenney says the Air Force has not come up with an acceptable schedule or long-term plan to clean up contamination of the groundwater at Cannon and Holloman Air Force bases.
He said that is the motivation for the lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court by the New Mexico Environment Department and the state Attorney General's Office against the Air Force.