DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The city of Dayton has sued the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the U.S. Department of Defense for failing to stop water contaminants from entering a source of the city’s drinking water.
The lawsuit filed Monday in the Southern District of Ohio accuses the air base of failing to stop per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, from entering one of the sources of the city’s water, the Dayton Daily News reported.
In March, the city gave notice that it intended to sue unless the air base agreed to cooperate on mitigation measures for PFAS contamination.
PFAS are human-made chemicals that research suggests can cause health problems including cancer and weakened immunity. Found in many products like nonstick cookware and firefighting foam, they are also called “forever chemicals” for their longevity in the environment and resistance to destruction.
A spokesperson for the air force base declined to comment on the lawsuit, but has previously disputed that contamination from the base is threatening Dayton’s drinking water supply, the newspaper reported.
The city has said its drinking water is safe but that if contaminants on the base go untreated or mitigated, they could enter the city’s Mad River Wellfield.
“The city absolutely did not want to file this lawsuit,” Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein said in a statement Monday evening. “We’ve invested more than four years trying to get (Wright-Patterson) and the DoD to agree to take steps to mitigate ongoing contamination coming from the base into the city’s Mad River Wellfield and the aquifer that supplies those wells.”