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EPA official defends work on New Mexico contamination issue

August 6, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An official with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says he’s hopeful posturing by public officials in New Mexico won’t derail work being done by federal and state teams to better understand the scope of contamination at two military bases in the state.

EPA regional administrator Ken McQueen sent a letter to the New Mexico officials Tuesday.

It was in response to concerns by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state Environment Secretary James Kenney that the EPA wasn’t helping with New Mexico’s legal fight against the U.S. Air Force over contamination at Cannon and Holloman bases.

McQueen previously served as New Mexico’s energy secretary and was recently appointed to the federal post. He says technical teams from the EPA and the state have been working to evaluate conditions at the bases and identify data gaps.

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