Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Mike Stag, Esq.
The Camp Grayling Water Contamination Lawsuit is an active lawsuit
See If You Qualify

Camp Grayling Water Contamination Lawsuit Overview

Camp Grayling was founded in 1913 when a large portion of land was donated to the state of Michigan for military training initiatives. It started as an infantry training center and was used as a mobilization center before and during World War I. The base also played a prominent role in World War II and the Vietnam War. Due to the base’s large size, military units could train and practice elaborate maneuvers simultaneously in the air and on the ground, while also practicing air-to-ground delivery missions. Camp Grayling supports training for 10,000 National Guard personnel each year, has around 600 National Guard soldiers stationed there, and employs around 200 residents full-time. When training is not in progress, the base is open to the public for outdoor recreation activities, helping generate a substantial amount of revenue for the area. 

While Camp Grayling is perhaps best known for being one of the largest National Guard training camps in the country, it’s also gained attention for long-standing water contamination issues. The military used aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) for decades to maintain and extinguish fires at training facilities. Unfortunately, manufacturers used PFAS in the firefighting foam. PFAS represents a group of chemicals that build up in the body over time and cause serious illnesses like bladder cancer, testicular cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid cancer, and thyroid disease. When firefighting foam was used, stored, and disposed of at military bases, PFAS then contaminated soil, groundwater, and drinking water supplies. This toxin is known to migrate, affecting not just those on the base but residents in surrounding communities.

Camp Grayling Water Contamination Lawsuit Updates

April 21, 2024 – Michigan PFAS Response Team Identifies Significant Contamination at Camp Grayling

A recent study by the Michigan PFAS response team highlighted the contamination problems at Camp Grayling. The study highlights the area known as Range 40. This was an air-to-ground range with a history of contamination with metals and explosives. The more recent results from 2022 indicate that there is also PFAS contamination. Like many military bases, nearby residents also feel the effects of military contamination. The only water supply there is from well water. Of the 35 wells tested, 32 tested above levels that are considered safe for PFAS in drinking water.

April 2024 – King Law Accepting Camp Grayling Water Contamination Lawsuits 

King Law has been representing claimants in environmental exposure lawsuits for years. And now, we are reviewing cases associated specifically with water contamination at Camp Grayling. If you or a loved one have been exposed to contaminated drinking water from the base and have developed a related illness, contact us today to determine if you’re eligible for compensation. 

January 2023 – Michigan Attorney General Announces PFAS Settlement 

Attorney General Dana Nessel announced that Michigan reached a settlement with Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, Inc. after suing the manufacturer for PFAS contamination stemming from military bases across the state. The defendant was one of 17 companies named in the lawsuit. 

2018 – Michigan Files Lawsuit Against PFAS Manufacturers

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) filed a lawsuit against PFAS manufacturers responsible for contamination that posed safety risks to the state’s residents and natural resources.

On this page:

Historical Background of Toxic Exposure at Camp Grayling

PFAS contamination from Camp Grayling was first discovered in 2016. Testing, discussions, and public meetings have been occurring ever since to understand the extent of pollution. Michigan has state standards for PFAS in water, established with the EGLE Part 201 Cleanup Criteria, which includes 16 ppt for PFOS, 8 ppt for PFOA, 6 ppt for PFNA, 51 ppt for PFHxS, and 420 ppt for PFBS. 

June 2023 – Officials Issue Proposed Solution for PFAS Contamination 

Seven years after the initial discovery of PFAS contamination outside the Grayling base, officials presented a solution to address PFAS contamination. The state plans to expand the Grayling Charter Township and Beaver Creek Township water system so everyone has access to a municipal supply. Funding will come in part from taxpayer dollars and in part from grants. The township is also requesting funding from the Department of Defense (DoD) since the PFAS issues stem from Camp Grayling. The project is anticipated to kick off in the summer of 2024 and go through 2025. 

2022 – EGLE Sends Violation Notice to Camp Grayling for PFAS-Contaminated Stormwater

In 2022, EGLE issued a violation to Camp Grayling regarding pollution found in stormwater discharges because of military base activity. PFOS was found in all samples, ranging from 14.5 ppt to 439 ppt (EGLE criteria for PFOS is 8 ppt). The violation called for immediate action to prevent pollution that is “unreasonable and against the public interest.” Additionally, testing revealed PFAS EGLE criteria exceedances for around 2% of residential drinking water samples, 53% of groundwater samples, and 11% of surface water samples. 

2020-2021 – Investigations Continue to Reveal PFAS Contamination

Throughout 2020 and 2021, more samples were taken to better understand the extent of contamination, primarily near Grayling Army Airfield, Lake Margrethe, and the Maneuver and Training Equipment Site (MATES) at Range 30. Reports noted, “The sampling results indicated that environmental contamination is present in the groundwater at several of the MDMVA-Camp Grayling monitoring wells.“

2019 – Remedial Investigation Reveals Additional Lake Contamination

In 2019, a contractor responsible for PFAS testing submitted a Remedial Investigation Report. The Camp Grayling Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) was initiated and discussions were held regarding samples taken from around Lake Margrethe. Samples mainly tested for three types of PFAS: PFHxS, PFOA, and PFOS. Multiple results tested above 50 ppt with some extending toward 80 ppt and 90 ppt. 

2017-2018 – Foam Spotted in Lake Margrethe Tests Very High for PFAS

In October 2017, a resident sent EGLE photos of foam at Lake Margrethe, which triggered PFAS testing. The foam results revealed 2,341 ppt to 24,810 ppt of PFOS and PFOA. Keep in mind, Lake Margrethe is a location for boating, swimming, and fishing, and is located near numerous wells that supply drinking water to nearby residents. These findings triggered the addition of 14 monitoring wells at Lake Margrethe and infrared drone work to identify where groundwater and springs seep into the lake. 

2016 – PFAS Discovered in Wells Near Camp Grayling Airfield

PFAS was discovered in wells located near Camp Grayling Airfield and Lake Margrethe in 2016. This was one of the first military-related PFAS findings for Michigan. An estimated 300 people were affected by the contaminated water, sparking a proposed expansion of the Grayling Charter Township and Beaver Creek Township water system to provide those residents with safe drinking water.

This infographic is a timeline of toxic exposure at Camp Grayling, Michigan and some notable activities at the camp.

Camp Grayling Water Contamination Map

This map show the location and boundary of Camp Grayling in Michigan. It emphasizes the main area of PFAS contamination at the Grayling Army Airfield and all areas with confirmed PFAS contamination as well the water flow and domestic wells outside of the the airfield.

The Camp Grayling contamination map shows Camp Grayling’s boundaries as well as potential areas where PFAS contamination originated. Camp Grayling Airfield, Lake Margrethe, and the Maneuver and Training Equipment Site (MATES) at Range 30 are particular areas of interest with nearby wells testing positive for high levels of PFAS. You can also see the likely direction of groundwater flow to better understand how contaminants migrated into public water supplies. 

Contaminants Found in Camp Grayling Drinking Water

PFAS, TCE, and PCE are three of the largest contaminants of concern at Camp Grayling. All of these chemicals are associated with cancer and other serious illnesses, especially through long-term exposure such as through years of contaminated drinking water. 

Per- and Poly-Fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) 

PFAS is the biggest contaminant of concern at Camp Grayling. Wells at and around the base, as well as those around Lake Margrethe, show that PFAS from the base has entered drinking water supplies, putting military members, families, and residents at risk of related illnesses, including: 

It’s important to note that PFAS builds up in the body, so long-term exposure to toxins through years of consuming contaminated water increases the risk of these conditions. 

Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)

PCE is another toxin of concern at Camp Grayling that was largely addressed before 2020. One of the largest known sources of PCE contamination is the Camp Grayling Bulk Fuel Storage Area. A remediation system was installed in the southwestern corner of the airfield to address the PCE groundwater plume. PCE was a component often found in industrial solvents used on bases as a metal degreaser. It’s linked to kidney cancer, liver cancer, lymphoma, as well as liver damage. 

Trichloroethylene (TCE)

TCE was also addressed at the Camp Grayling Bulk Fuel Storage Area through a remediation system designed to filter out the toxin to improve drinking water quality. This chemical was also associated with solvents used on military bases and is linked to bladder cancer, lymphoma, liver damage, respiratory issues, and multiple myeloma.

Current Water Quality at Camp Grayling

PFAS contamination continues to be an issue for those impacted by the migration of toxins from Camp Grayling. Chuck Spencer, President of the Lake Margrethe Property Owners Association, recently wrote to public defense officials demanding expedited action to protect the environment and the public. The letter notes, “The residents on and around Lake Margrethe have been aware of the PFAS contamination caused by

Camp Grayling for over seven years now. The scope of the contamination continues to grow and yet, as of today, we’ve seen no action to remediate the problem.”

Not only are those at and around Camp Grayling at risk of consuming PFAS-contaminated drinking water, but veterans and their families likely faced long-term exposure as well. Thousands of military veterans are now pursuing PFAS class action lawsuits to sue chemical manufacturers for their wrongful exposure. 

Water Treatment Efforts at Camp Grayling

Water treatment efforts at Camp Grayling have included: 

  • Establishment of EGLE PFAS criteria to put guardrails around what levels of the contaminant are “acceptable” and what levels require immediate action 
  • Installation of numerous monitoring wells at the base and around Lake Margrethe 
  • Installation of pump and treatment remediation systems to address groundwater plumes
  • Pilot testing of PlumeStop remediation for PFAS and PCE

Health Risks and Symptoms Linked to Drinking Water at Camp Grayling

Health risks and symptoms associated with PFAS, TCE, and PCE contamination in Camp Grayling drinking water include: 

  • Bladder cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Thyroid disease
  • Kidney cancer 
  • Pancreatic cancer 

While these are the diagnoses our firm is currently reviewing, other conditions that may include: 

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple-Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Seek medical care as soon as possible if you experience symptoms related to drinking water contamination. If you know you’ve consumed toxic water, you should also tell your healthcare provider and consider any screening or monitoring recommendations. 

Eligibility Criteria for Camp Grayling Water Contamination Lawsuit

There are two main pieces of criteria we’re looking for to establish a Camp Grayling water contamination case, including: 

  1. At least six months of toxic exposure: To build a strong case, we’re looking for victims to have at least six months of exposure to chemicals like PFAS at Camp Grayling. 
  2. A diagnosis related to your exposure: You must also have a diagnosis related to your toxic exposure. For example, many PFAS lawsuits involve claimants who have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid cancer, pancreatic cancer, etc. See below for the cases our firm is evaluating. 

Our law firm is currently evaluating cases where individuals have been diagnosed with:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple-Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Our attorneys can review your case, confirm your eligibility, and help you get started with the filing process. Be sure to reach out as soon as possible so you meet any deadlines required to be eligible for compensation.

Camp Grayling Water Contamination Settlement Amounts

Based on our previous experience with toxic torts and environmental law, we anticipate Camp Grayling water contamination settlements to pay out around $30,000-$500,000. Previous cases have resulted in average settlements of around $250,000. 

However, it’s important to note that every case is different, and actual payouts can be much higher or much lower. For example, if your case lacks evidence, it could result in a settlement of around $30,000-$75,000. But if you have proof of long-term exposure and a severe diagnosis, you may be entitled to a settlement closer to $1,000,000. When we review your case, we can help you understand what damages you may be able to recover.

How to File a Camp Grayling Water Contamination Lawsuit

With help from King Law, the process of filing a Camp Grayling water contamination lawsuit can go seamlessly. It typically involves: 

  1. Contact us via phone, email, or in person to schedule a free consultation. We will review the details of your case, confirm your eligibility, answer any questions you have, and initiate the process. 
  2. Gather any documentation you have to support your case. This includes proof of your time at Camp Grayling, exposure to a toxin like PFAS, details around your exposure such as duration and extent, that you have a related diagnosis, and any details related to your diagnosis such as prognosis and treatment costs. 
  3. We will draft and file your contamination complaint on your behalf. It will outline details of your case to the appropriate court, also noting who you deem responsible for your toxic exposure. 
  4. We will help you reach and negotiate a settlement or may recommend you go to trial. With our background in handling such cases, we will be able to advise what makes the most sense for you. 
  5. We will help you recover your damages. Many of these cases result in a settlement, in which you will ideally receive compensation to help cover lost wages, medical expenses, and other damages accrued from your wrongful exposure at Camp Grayling. 

Evidence to Support Your Camp Grayling Claim

Here is some of the evidence you might need to support your Camp Grayling water contamination claim: 

  • Proof of your time at Camp Grayling such as military directives, discharge paperwork, work records, etc. 
  • Evidence of exposure to a toxin at or from Camp Grayling, which may include studies and official reports detailing the toxin levels in the drinking water 
  • Medical records detailing your diagnosis of a related illness 
  • Doctor notes or other medical notes detailing your prognosis and recommended treatments 
  • Additional testimonies, interviews, or documents your attorney feels will solidify your claim

Evidence is key to the success of your case and can have a direct impact on the amount of compensation you could receive. Ensure you’re available to your attorney as any questions or additional requests for information arise.

Statute of Limitations for Camp Grayling Water Contamination Claims

The deadline by which you must file a lawsuit is referred to as a statute of limitations. These vary by state and by the type of claim you file. 

Camp Grayling Water Contamination Lawyers

PFAS lawsuits are unique in that they involve environmental exposure at military bases. Our attorneys at King Law understand the environmental risks at military bases like Camp Grayling and how they’ve impacted veterans, their families, and civilians. We are dedicated to leveraging our expertise and resources to bolster your case, advocate for your right to compensation, and navigate the complexities of toxic torts to hold manufacturers responsible for wrongful exposure. Reach out to us today to access an unmatched level of support as you pursue a contamination lawsuit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Review the following answers to frequently asked questions regarding Camp Grayling water contamination, PFAS in drinking water, and details around filing a lawsuit. 

Is Camp Grayling water safe to drink?
PFAS contamination continues to be a concern at and around Camp Grayling with town officials demanding action to ensure public safety through clean drinking water.
What are the toxins in Camp Grayling?
Camp Grayling drinking water has been contaminated with PFAS, TCE, and PCE.
Is Camp Grayling a Superfund site?
U.S. Army Camp Grayling does have a Superfund Site profile though it is not on the National Priorities List (NPL).
What is the lawsuit on Camp Grayling?
Veterans who were exposed to PFAS-contaminated drinking water at military bases like Camp Grayling who have developed a related illness are now filing lawsuits against chemical manufacturers.
What are the environmental issues in Camp Grayling?
Camp Grayling used firefighting foam that contained PFAS. PFAS seeped into soil and groundwater, migrating to nearby bodies of water and wells, contaminating drinking water for those on base and in surrounding communities.
What types of health problems are linked to the Camp Grayling water contamination?
PFAS-contaminated drinking water at Camp Grayling could cause bladder cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid cancer, thyroid disease, pancreatic cancer, ulcerative colitis, and other conditions.
What evidence do I need for my claim in the Camp Grayling lawsuit?
Camp Grayling water contamination lawsuits must have proof of exposure to a toxin at Camp Grayling and diagnosis of a related illness.
How long will the Camp Grayling lawsuit process take?
Camp Grayling water contamination lawsuits may take several months or longer. Therefore, it’s imperative to contact an attorney as soon as possible to initiate the process.
What steps should I take if I was affected by the Camp Grayling contamination?
Seek medical care as soon as you develop symptoms of drinking contaminated water. You should also contact an environmental law attorney, such as those at King Law, for an initial consultation to review your case.
What kind of compensation can I expect from the Camp Grayling lawsuit?
Compensation for water contamination lawsuits can often range from $100,000-$300,000. However, it varies on a case-by-case basis. Weaker cases may range $30,000-$75,000 and stronger cases may extend toward $1,000,000.
What is the average payout for the Camp Grayling lawsuit?
Water contamination settlements may payout at around $250,000, on average. However, specific amounts may be higher or lower depending on the strength of your case.
Is PFAS in Camp Grayling water?
Yes, PFAS has been found in Camp Grayling water and in the water of surrounding communities.
What steps has Camp Grayling taken to address the PFAS contamination?
Since an initial 2016 discovery of PFAS contamination, there has been ongoing sampling and testing of water in and around Camp Grayling. There have been efforts to filter the water and provide affected residents with clean drinking water.
What are the main contaminants found in Camp Grayling's drinking water?
The main drinking water contaminants associated with Camp Grayling are PFAS, TCE, and PCE, all of which resulted from military activities like the use of firefighting foam and industrial solvents.  
Who is eligible for the Camp Grayling water contamination lawsuit?
Individuals who may be eligible for Camp Grayling water contamination lawsuit must have been exposed to toxins at Camp Grayling and must have a related diagnosis.
How can individuals affected by the Camp Grayling water contamination file a lawsuit?
Individuals interested in filing a Camp Grayling water contamination lawsuit must first contact an attorney to have a consultation.