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Spokane WA Landowners Suing The Department Of Defense Over Contaminated Groundwater


by Andrew Ciccone November 14, 2018

Local Spokane, WA farmers have filed a lawsuit against the Fairchild Air Force Base claiming they have suffered financial losses from groundwater contamination. The Department of Defense and the Air Force have been using a firefighting foam that has leached into the soil and contaminated the groundwater since the 1970s.

These farmers have experienced massive crop failure due to the contaminated soil. No insurance carrier will insure crops if they are irrigated with contaminated water. The water wells tested bordering the Fairchild Air Force Base report contained water with levels of PFOS/PFOA at least 15 times more contamination than the EPA considers safe.

The aqueous film-forming foam, is a widely used fire retardant that contains toxic perfluorinated chemicals. PFOA is Perfluorooctanoic Acid, which is a necessary aid in processing and manufacturing Fluoropolymers. PFOA chemicals accumulate in the environment and in the bloodstream much faster than they degrade and have been linked to an array of health defects.

A class action filed in April in U.S. District Court, targets manufacturers of the toxic firefighting foam that seeped into the water table from training sites on the Spokane, WA Air Force Base. The lawsuit cites an array of health problems purportedly caused by the water contamination, as well as diminished property values.

The Environmental Protection Agency has recently issued an official drinking water health advisory, limiting concentrations of the chemicals to 70 parts per trillion. PFOA and PFOS -- perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate are highly soluble and mobile in water.  PFOA and PFOS are highly likely to contaminate water supplies, and after prolonged exposure bio-accumulate causes developmental problems in fetuses and infants, cancer, liver damage, and other health problems.


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The Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, NY also has leached PFOS and PFOA into a one major source of the drinking water for local residents. According to a report from the House Armed Services Committee, there are 36 Air Force sites with drinking water contamination on-base, and more than 90 sites that reported either on-base or off-base drinking water or groundwater contamination.

Get involved and make a commitment to be part of the solution. Make a difference:

  • Test your water quality. You can test the quality of the water in your home by buying and utilizing a water testing kit.

  • Act locally. Talk to local officials about your concern for clean water. Land use decisions made by municipalities affect water quality downstream. In many cases, all it takes is a few persistent citizens to motivate local officials to do a better job protecting aquatic habitat and natural resources.

  • Clean it up. Support your local community and participate in a clean-up day. Set an example by always picking up your own trash and pet waste before it washes into our waters, and encourage neighbors to do the same.

  • Prevent hazardous waste from reaching the river. Report chemical spills on roads and bridges to hazardous waste teams.

All over the country American drinking water supplies are being threatened, exploited and contaminated. We need to protect our water and realize that what we do impacts the quality of our water.


Take a stand for water.

 

 

 




Andrew Ciccone
Andrew Ciccone

Author

Andrew Ciccone, VP Branding & Media Strategy - Andrew's long strange marketing trip began after graduating from Syracuse University with a BS in Marketing. Andrew then developed his marketing prowess when he moved to Madison Avenue big boys Young & Rubicam, Backer Spielvogel, and Grey Advertising. He went on to get a Masters in Corporate Communications from Baruch College, then went on to start his own agency in 2011 - Hudson Valley Public Relations. Andrew has earned a reputation for creative, smart, innovative campaigns that get results. Andrew's spare time is devoted to sailing regattas, family fun and film. To date he has penned four screenplays.



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