New Mexico dairy concerned about Air Force contamination
Manager Ryan Schaap tells the Eastern New Mexico News that the cows at Highland Dairy need to be milked but nobody will buy their wares, imperiling the dairy and its 40 employees.
Chemicals associated with firefighting foam once used at Cannon Air Force Base near Clovis have been detected in groundwater on and near the military installation, prompting requests by state officials for more tests and a study to determine the extent of the toxic plume.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, have been detected in some off-base wells.
Schaap’s business is among those affected.
He said water at the dairy and farm were found to be 35 and 200 times the EPA limit, respectively.
Water at his parents’ home tested 10 times the limit.
A scientist with the New Mexico Environment Department explained at a recent town hall in Clovis that the chemicals can accumulate, making their way from water into crops, livestock and other products.
A standard for those chemicals’ hazards in food and animals hasn’t been established in the same way it has for drinking water, and officials have said more research is needed.
"Right now what’s in front of us is dealing with drinking water here at Cannon Air Force Base."
"Cannon must take responsibility of this problem and stop hiding behind the curtain of government," he wrote in a statement.