February 11, 2019

News Briefs – February 11, 2019

Air Force pledges cooperation over toxins near former base

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson is pledging cooperation with the state of Michigan over toxic chemical pollution near a former military installation, despite a continuing dispute about cleanup responsibilities.
Wilson made the promise in a letter to U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, who released it Feb. 7.
Peters complained to Wilson after the Air Force told Michigan in December it wasn’t bound by state standards involving chemicals known as PFAS. They are used in firefighting foam and have polluted surface and ground waters near the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says the Air Force isn’t doing enough to clean it up.
In her letter, Wilson said the Air Force is complying with federal law and Assistant Secretary John Henderson plans to visit the state. AP

New Mexico officials: Holloman Air Force water contaminated

New Mexico environmental officials say Holloman Air Force Base has violated its state permit after toxic chemicals were found in groundwater.
The New Mexico Environment Department said Feb. 6 it issued a “notice of violation” to Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo, New Mexico, following the contamination discovery.
New Mexico officials say pollutants were found in groundwater at levels nearly twice the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water health advisory.
A site inspection report in November said groundwater below Holloman tested positive for unsafe pollutants.
Environment Department Secretary-designate Jim Kenney says state officials are “dismayed” by the U.S. Air Force’s lack of prompt response to the contamination found.
A spokesman for the Holloman Air Force Base’s 49th Wing Public Affairs Office did not immediately respond to an email. AP

After trade fight, Delta’s new small jetliner takes flight

Delta Air Lines’ newest plane is taking off, part of a trend of airlines giving high-paying passengers more room and comfort on smaller jets.
Delta’s first flight with the 109-seat Airbus A220 took off Feb. 7 from New York’s LaGuardia Airport and landed in Boston.
The plane was developed by Canada’s Bombardier, which later joined forces with Airbus to make and sell the jet, which is smaller than Boeing 737s.
Delta is putting 12 first-class seats and 15 other premium seats on the plane.
A day earlier, United Airlines said it will fly a retooled Bombardier jet with 50 seats, 30 of them at premium prices.
Boeing fought unsuccessfully to block Bombardier from selling the new plane to Delta, claiming that Bombardier got illegal subsidies from the Canadian government. AP

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