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WildEarth Guardians calls for PFAS pollution controls for oil and gas in New Mexico  

February 7, 2024
Melissa Troutman, Climate and Energy Advocate, mtroutman@wildearthguardians.org, 505-216-6864
In This Release
Climate + Energy  
#ClimateJustice, #KeepItInTheGround, #PressStatement
SANTA FE, N.M. – Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed listing dangerous PFAS chemicals as “hazardous” in response to a 2021 petition request from Governor Lujan Grisham. PFAS, often referred to as “forever chemicals,” are linked to multiple negative health effects, including cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility, asthma, thyroid disease, and decreased vaccine efficacy. Many consumer products contain PFAS and, in April, Physicians for Social Responsibility revealed that the oil and gas industry uses PFAS in its fracking operations in New Mexico as well. 

In response to the EPA’s designation of PFAS as “hazardous,” Melissa Troutman, WildEarth Guardians’ Climate and Energy Advocate, issued the following statement:

“EPA’s approval of  New Mexico’s petition to label PFAS as hazardous substances marks a much-needed win to protect our environment, water, and public health against “forever chemicals.” Unfortunately, PFAS pollution from the oil and gas industry in New Mexico remains unchecked, posing continued risk to New Mexicans and our outdoors. We call on Governor Lujan Grisham to protect New Mexico from PFAS in oil and gas. 

“Under Governor Lujan Grisham leadership, New Mexico’s oil and gas industry receives significant exemptions, handouts, and subsidies that result in undisclosed contamination from PFAS and other dangerous pollutants. To truly protect New Mexico from PFAS, Governor Lujan Grisham must rise above the industry’s influence and hold oil and gas operations accountable to the same environmental regulations she’s fought for.  

“We commend Governor Lujan Grisham for her commitment to addressing PFAS contamination and celebrate this first step towards accountability and protection. Now, we ask her to take a bold step further — ban PFAS in oil and gas and require that the industry fully disclose the substances they release into the environment and our communities. 

“New Mexicans deserve leaders that hold polluters accountable and make no compromises in protecting our water and communities. The Governor and the Oil Conservation Commission have a chance to address PFAS pollution in oil and gas operations in the state right now through WildEarth Guardians’ rulemaking petition that proposes a ban on PFAS and requires chemical disclosure for oil and gas activities.”

Read more about WildEarth Guardians’ call to action to make sure oil and gas is included in the uniform management of PFAS to protect human health and the environment here.

Protest outside of the New Mexico Governor’s Office. Photo by WildEarth-Guardians