Read the full article by Abbie Shull (The News Tribune)

“Lakewood Water District is suing the U.S. government, including the Department of Defense, the Air Force and the Army as well as 13 manufacturers, including 3M and DuPont, of firefighting foam used on Joint Base Lewis-McChord that leaked into the groundwater supply.

The district said it will spend over $377 million in the next 50 years for water-quality protection projects because the foam contains Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that have potentially adverse affects on people’s health and the environment.

PFAS are referred to as ‘forever chemicals’ by the Environmental Protection Agency because they don’t break down naturally in the environment. The C-8 Medical Monitoring Program, created as part of a settlement against DuPont over water contamination in West Virginia, found a probable link between PFOA — part of the PFAS family — and pregnancy-induced hypertension, kidney disease, testicular cancer, thyroid disease and high cholesterol.

Despite detecting PFAS in some the groundwater supply sources, the district said the water continues to be safe to drink. Ten of the district’s groundwater wells that were tested show they have been impacted by PFAS. All are located close to JBLM.

The firefighting foam was used for emergency response and training on JBLM for more than 35 years…”