City of Dayton is suing Wright Patterson Air Force Base, DoD for alleged water pollution
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Department of Defense were recently sued by the City of Dayton on allegations that local drinking water was contaminated with PFAS. The city is demanding damages of around 300 million US dollars. The lawsuit, filed in the southern Ohio district, claims the Department of Defense and the base failed to “prevent water containing a group of toxic chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – or PFAS – from getting daily flows into the city’s Mad River Wellfield ”. The well field is one of many that provides Dayton with drinking water for more than 400,000 residents who live in Dayton and Montgomery Counties.
Hammer rests on open book; Image by Verkeorg, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.
According to the lawsuit, “the pollutants are affecting the surface water, groundwater and soil on the well field that borders areas A and B of the base.” There are a handful of PFAS hotspots on the base, and if the situation is not fixed soon, it can cost millions of dollars, the city said. Shelley Dickstein, Dayton City manager, stated:
“The city absolutely did not want to file this lawsuit … We spent more than four years agreeing (Wright stalemate) and the Department of Defense to take steps to reduce the ongoing base contamination into the city’s Mad River Wellfield and the aquifer that supplies these wells. “
In accordance with the law, city officials sent a formal letter of complaint to the base and the Ministry of Defense back in March, informing both parties that they wanted to sue no later than May 4, “unless they agree with the city work together to mitigate the contamination problem. “The base, however,” previously rejected the agreement – known as the Toll Agreement – that would have allowed continued collaborative work on the contamination problem while extending the time for the city to file a lawsuit under federal law must, “said Dickstein. The Ministry of Defense also rejected the offer for the toll contract.
As early as April, grassroots opposition to city claims that “PFAS from the facility is threatening Dayton’s drinking water supplies” found that groundwater around the base line was “below Environmental Protection Agency action levels.” In addition, grassroots officials pointed out that the Air Force “takes guard well samples every quarter to track changing levels and regularly share the information with the city.”
Separately, the city is pursuing litigation and seeking damages of between $ 10 million and $ 300 million “based on the willingness of the Department of Defense and Wright Stalem to implement various treatment options available to them to halt the ongoing damage. “
For those who don’t know, PFAS are known as “forever chemicals” because they can linger in your body for a long period of time. They’re often found in contaminated water, non-stick products, waxes, waterproof fabrics, polishes, and even certain food packaging, according to the EPA. Excessive exposure to PFAS could cause problems with pregnancies, “raise cholesterol and cause some forms of cancer,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dayton files a $ 300 million drinking water pollution lawsuit against Wright Patt
The City of Dayton plans to file lawsuit against Wright-Patt, Department of Defense, over water pollution