Almost 100 people who live near Fairchild AFB outside of Spokane, Wash., last week filed a federal class-action lawsuit against multiple manufacturers of a firefighting foam they say caused a range of health issues after contaminating the local water supply. The lawsuit alleges the manufacturers negligently created a dangerous product and marketed it without adequate warnings and instructions for its use, reported the Spokesman-Review. “There are multiple parties that could be held liable for this,” said Andrew Biviano, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs. “For something like this — such a disaster — mistakes were probably made all along the way.” The lawsuit does not name the Air Force as a defendant.
This week the Air Force said it is starting to install water filters for residents near the installation who rely on private wells with elevated levels of perfluorinated chemicals. Over 80 wells in the area had shown elevated levels of chemicals found in the foam used at Fairchild, according to an Air Force spokeswoman.
Air Force photo by Grace Nichols