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Oak Harbor Resident Complains Water is Tainted with Chemicals

Economy

Oak Harbor Resident Complains Water is Tainted with Chemicals

An Oak Harbor resident has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court stating her well was contaminated with chemicals from firefighting foam used at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

As per the lawsuit, accusation lies on five companies in the manufacture, marketing, sales and delivery of the firefighting foam of knowingly putting the water — and therefore the environment and public health — at risk in areas around NAS Whidbey Island and hundreds of other military bases.

The lawsuit states, “As a result, significant portions of the water supply and soil on Whidbey Island are contaminated … exposing residents to significant health risks and devaluing their lands.”

The case was filed Tuesday as a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

The plaintiff, Krista Jackson’s intention through the lawsuit is to make the companies pay her and potentially thousands of others who have been affected by the firefighting foam.

The complaint has been registered of negligence, product liability for failure to warn and trespass on The 3M Company, Tyco Fire Products, Buckeye Fire Equipment Company, Chemguard, and National Foam.

The bone of the contention is a kind of foam that was used for decades to fight fires, particularly during military practices and incidents involving petroleum-based fires such as from aircraft crashes.

As per the Environmental Protection Agency, the foam has chemicals which may increase risks for kidney and testicular cancer and can possibly affect fetal development and the immune system.

The class-action lawsuit states, as a result of the foam’s longtime use, “Oak Harbor and Coupeville have widespread contamination in their water supply.”

The Navy itself has assisted in the documentation of the contamination.

The Navy determined through water testing that about 15 residential wells in the area had concentrations of the chemicals above the EPA’s recommended exposure limit.

As per EPA, while the chemicals have been phased out of manufacturing since about 2002, they are still found in the environment and the blood of those exposed to contamination.

The class-action lawsuit also argues it is essential for Jackson and others represented in the lawsuit to undergo more frequent medical testing in order to detect and treat related medical problems.

Jackson is aiming to receive payment from the defendant companies for that increased medical testing, as well as decreased property values, the cost of the lawsuit and attorney’s fees and any other damages the court deems fit.

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