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Federal government files suit against New Mexico Environment Department over permit issued to Air Force base

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Jan 25, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Legal Newsline) – The federal government is challenging a permit issued by New Mexico to an Air Force base in the state.

United States of America, on behalf of the U.S. Department of the Air Force, filed a complaint on Jan. 17 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico against New Mexico Environment Department and Secretary James Kenney seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff is challenging the defendants' issued permit on Dec. 19, 2018, to Cannon Air Force Base under the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Act (HWA) and the permit's definition of "hazardous waste."

"The United States challenges the permit’s definition of 'hazardous waste' for the purpose of corrective action in Permit Section 1.12 which is in consistent with both the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the HWA and is barred by sovereign immunity," the suit states.

The plaintiff seeks to set aside the allegedly unlawful provisions of the permit and grant such other relief as may be just and proper. It is represented by Eileen T. McDonough of U.S. Department of Justice Environmental, Defense Section in Washington, D.C.

U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico case number 2:19-cv-00046-CG-SMV

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U.S. Department of Justice U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico

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