Airway Heights Shuts Down Drinking Water Wells Amid Contamination Crisis

May 17, 2017  |  Environmental
Drinking Water

City officials in Airway Heights, Washington, are warning residents not to drink or cook with water from city pipes, which may be contaminated with dangerous, perfluorinated chemicals known as PFOS and PFOA.

Exposure at high concentrations can lead to a host of health complications, including testicular and kidney cancers, thyroid disease, and high cholesterol.

Tonight at 5:30 p.m., national environmental law firm Baron & Budd is hosting a community meeting at Northern Quest Resort & Casino in Room Kalispel B.  Water contamination attorney John Fiske will present on the PFOA/PFOS contamination and will field questions. Baron & Budd was the first firm in the nation to file suit on behalf of an airport against AFFF foam manufactures for PFOA/PFOS groundwater contamination.

Product manufacturers, such as 3M, added PFOA and PFOS chemicals to firefighting foam, known as AFFF foam.  Airports and Air Force bases across the country sprayed AFFF foam directly onto the ground and soil, unknowingly contaminating groundwater.

In Airway Heights, and the nearby town of Medical Lake,  PFOA and PFOS chemicals may have originated from AFFF foam used at nearby Fairchild Air Force Base, from at least the 1970s. A number of private residential wells are also affected at levels several times higher than the EPA’s Health Advisory limit.

Airway Heights Mayor Kevin Ritchey confirmed to the media that Fairchild tested four city wells and found contamination in three of them. The city plans to halt the pumping of water from these contaminated wells and link its system with the City of Spokane’s. Airway Heights is working on long-term solutions, including the installation of a filtration system on the wells.

According to the Spokesman Review, hundreds of Airway Heights residents waited in line for bottled water Tuesday night after learning about the contamination.

If you live in the affected area and are concerned about contamination on your property, you are not alone. Contact John Fiske, an environmental attorney at Baron & Budd, to learn more about your legal options during this contamination crisis: 619-261-4090.

John Fiske will be in Airway Heights on May 17, 2017 to meet directly with residents.

Baron & Budd is a national leader in environmental law with a wealth of experience representing plaintiffs who have been impacted by environmental contamination. Our Environmental Litigation Group currently represents the cities of Spokane and Seattle, as well as the state of Washington, in PCB water contamination lawsuits against Monsanto.

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