Farmer claims contaminated water from Cannon AFB is impacting cows

Farmer claims contaminated water from Cannon AFB is impacting cows

Source:, February 27, 2019
By: Faith Egbuonu

A local farmer said contaminated water from the Cannon Air Force Base has contaminated 4,000 of his cows.

“Life is water, and without good fresh water, you can’t grow crops. You can’t milk cows,” said Art Schaap, the owner of Highland Dairy.

Schapp was faced with horrible news in September when the government informed him that a few of his water wells were contaminated with PFAs from Cannon Air Force Base.

“The Air Force has caused the pollution which has caused the pollution in my milk, and also has caused my cows to have it in their bloodstream which affects the meat,” Schapp said.

PFAs are toxins that can have serious health effects in both humans and animals. Now, Schaap has been left with a difficult decision to make.

“What do I do with the animals? I really don’t know where to go. So, we’re looking into maybe having to euthanize them,” Schaap said.

However, he believes the simple fix is clean water. He said the City of Clovis is working on a resolution.

“The positive is Curry County has passed a resolution to support– to make Cannon Air Force Base be more accountable,” Schaap said.

Robert Thornton, Curry County Commissioner District 5, confirmed the city’s efforts.

“The City of Clovis approved the scope of work with King Industries, which relates to contamination, and that is going to be designed to help the Department of Defense come to some sort of resolution concerning this contamination,” Thornton said.

KOB 4 reached out to Col. Russell Kesley from Cannon Air Force Base about the claims, but he chose not to comment. KOB 4 was referred to Public Affairs but was still unable to obtain a comment.

Schaap said so far, Cannon Air Force Base has provided clean bottled water for his family and him, but not for the animals.

“We feel like Air Force Base needs to take possession of our property– buy it from us, and then we can relocate to another location that we have good water,” Schaap said.

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