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Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Mike Stag, Esq.
The Fort Dix Water Contamination Lawsuit is an active lawsuit
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Fort Dix Water Contamination Lawsuit Overview

Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, commonly known as Fort Dix, was formed in 1917. It helped with training missions during World War I, helped train the first female recruits in 1978, and trained Kuwaiti civilians to support the liberation of their country. The base underwent realignment and closure recommendations before reestablishment. It has since helped train Reserve and National Guard soldiers and houses the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center.

Because of military operations, dangerous contaminants have impacted the quality of drinking water on and near the military base. Problematic chemicals have included tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), benzene, and more. If you were exposed to contaminated drinking water at Fort Dix and developed a related illness, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and gain compensation.

Fort Dix Water Contamination Lawsuit Updates

Veterans and their family members continue to file water contamination lawsuits as they develop related health conditions. Fort Dix is one of many military bases with a history of PFAS in its drinking water. If you were stationed at Fort Dix, or lived nearby, and toxic exposure led to a serious illness, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit for compensation. 

March 2024 – Water Contamination Lawsuits Continue

There are thousands of victims filing water contamination lawsuits across the United States. Many claimants are veterans or their family members who were exposed to toxins like PFAS during their time on or near a military base, including Fort Dix. While the population has declined, the number of military personnel, their family members, and other civilian personnel living on and near the base totaled more than 45,000 in 2021 with an additional 600,000 in surrounding communities. 

January 2021 – New Jersey Sues Federal Government for Toxic Contamination 

In January 2021, the state of New Jersey sued the federal government over contaminated water on and around New Jersey military bases. The lawsuit cited firefighting foam as the probable source. This foam contained PFAS, a “forever chemical” that accumulates in the body and doesn’t degrade in the environment. Through this lawsuit, New Jersey sought action from the federal government to take PFAS contamination seriously and act to clean up the toxin.

On this page:

Historical Background of Toxic Exposure at Fort Dix

PFAS was found in Fort Dix water, likely as a result of Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF). AFFF is a firefighting foam used to put out flames during training exercises. It can enter the ground at training fields, storage areas, and other areas where fires may need to be put out, contaminating soil and groundwater. The foam contains PFAS, which is a group of cancer-causing chemicals. The EPA’s 2016 guidelines for PFAS were at 70 ppt with recent recommendations sitting at 0.004 ppt.

December 2022 – PFAS Levels Go Undetected

According to the Annual Water Consumer Confidence Report, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) regulated PFAS levels measured below 2 ppt for the 2022 monitoring year. However, the EPA’s updated guidelines limit PFAS to 0.004 ppt, making it unclear if PFAS is still in the water but not detectable with current testing.  

October 2021 – PFAS Found In Two Lakes Near Fort Dix

A study posted in October 2021 acknowledged the presence of PFAS in Little Pine Lake and Pine Lake. Little Pine Lake water samples had a PFAS concentration of 279.5 ppt and Pine Lake had a PFAS concentration of 170.7 ppt. Both lakes are located near Fort Dix with concerns regarding contamination of nearby aquifers that supply drinking water to those on and near the base. 

December 2020 – Annual Water Consumer Confidence Report Shows PFAS Contamination

An Annual Water Consumer Confidence Report for the Dix Drinking Water System detected levels of PFAS during the January 1, 2020-December 31, 2020 monitoring period. The highest levels were 1.5 ppt for PFNA, 5.1 ppt for PFOS, and 1.1 ppt for PFOA.

2019 – EWG Data Shows Significant PFAS Contamination at Fort Dix

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has an interactive map updated with data regarding PFAS reports across the country. This data shows maximum testing levels of PFAS ranging from 4,700-264,000 ppt in 2019 when tens of thousands of military personnel were stationed at the base.

2018 – New Jersey Set State Maximum Contaminant Levels for PFAS

In 2018, New Jersey established state Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for PFAS. These levels set standards around how much of each chemical could be present in public water. These levels were 13 ppt for PFNA and PFOS, and 14 ppt for PFOA. 

2016 – PFAS Confirmed at Fort Dix With Testing at 21 Different Sites

PFAS was publicly recognized as a contaminant at Fort Dix in 2016. Testing at 21 different sites detected PFOA, PFOS, and PFNA across multiple samples with some samples testing as high as 200,000 ppt. 

September 1991 – Cleanup Efforts Planned for Fort Dix Landfill Contamination

Fort Dix personnel disposed of grease, sludge, paints, paint thinners, pesticides, and other waste at a landfill and nearby pit, which they then covered in soil. Unfortunately, this resulted in soil and groundwater contamination with metals and VOCs of particular concern. Fort Dix was named a Superfund site and cleanup efforts were decided in 1991 to contain the waste and reduce contamination spread.

Fort Dix Water Contamination Map

The above map shows the sources, spread, and extent of water contamination at Fort Dix. You can identify areas where firefighting foam was used and how it impacted drinking water throughout the base and surrounding areas. This helps demonstrate how even those not directly using the PFAS-containing products were susceptible to long-term exposure during their time at Fort Dix. 

Contaminants and Chemicals Found in Fort Dix Drinking Water

Because of military activity, Fort Dix has faced an array of contaminants in the air, soil, and groundwater. Many of these toxins have also impacted Fort Dix drinking water. The base’s Superfund Site profile provides a complete list of contaminants of concern (COCs).

Per- and Poly-Fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

PFAS includes a group of chemicals linked to a range of serious health conditions, including bladder cancer, breast cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, kidney cancer, leukemia, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, decreased vaccine effectiveness, and more. PFAS is a common component in firefighting foam, which has been used widely by the military since the 1940s. 

Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)

PCE is another chemical of concern, especially for those in the military. The contaminant largely comes from industrial solvents, such as degreasers and paint thinners. PCE is associated with bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. PCE has been detected in the air and drinking water at Fort Dix. 

Trichloroethylene (TCE)

Members of the military and those stationed at or near Fort Dix may have also been exposed to TCE. TCE has been a main agent in industrial cleaners used primarily to remove grease from metal parts. This chemical has also been linked to cancer, including kidney cancer, liver cancer, and lymphoma. 

Benzene 

Benzene has been one of many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of concern for Fort Dix, especially at and near the Dix Area Sanitary Landfill site. The presence of benzene poses a risk of migration to Fort Dix drinking water and has been a priority with landfill capping efforts. Benzene can come from solvents, jet fuel, and as a byproduct of waste disposal at military sites. Exposure to benzene can lead to leukemia and other blood cancers. 

Other Contaminants 

Other contaminants detected in water at Fort Dix include mercury, nickel, zinc, chromium, cadmium, methylene chloride, and dichloroethane. Regular monitoring looks for microbial contaminants, inorganic contaminants, pesticides, herbicides, organic chemical compounds, and radioactive contaminants.

Current Water Quality at Fort Dix

The most recent Annual Water Consumer Confidence Report for the Dix Drinking Water System at Fort Dix claimed drinking water was safe for the year 2022. However, veterans, their families, and civilians living near the base have been exposed to toxins for years leading up to the present day. As a result, they face the risk of serious illnesses from toxic environmental exposure. 

Water Treatment Efforts at Fort Dix

The Dix drinking water system relies on water from three groundwater wells and one surface water treatment plant. The groundwater is filtered with manganese greensand with sodium hypochlorite disinfection. The surface water is also treated and disinfected. Members of the 87th Air Base Wing, 87th Medical Group, 87th Civil Engineer Group, and Pride Industries are cited for safeguarding the drinking water quality.

Health Risks Linked to Fort Dix’s Drinking Water

Individuals exposed to toxic drinking water at Fort Dix may experience lowered immune response, decreased vaccine effectiveness, ulcerative colitis, and symptoms of many different cancers. We are currently reviewing cases of bladder cancer, thyroid cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid disease, and other illnesses for those who faced contaminated drinking water from chemicals like PFAS. 

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

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

You should notify your healthcare provider about your exposure to monitor for symptoms and initiate treatment as soon as possible. Seek care immediately if any symptoms emerge.

Eligibility Criteria for Fort Dix Water Contamination Claims

You may be eligible to file a water contamination lawsuit if you’ve been exposed to toxins and have developed a related illness. More specifically, lawsuit eligibility is based on: 

  1. Duration of Exposure: How long you were exposed to a toxin like PFAS is crucial to the strength of your case. We usually look for at least six months of exposure. Since PFAS builds up in the body, the longer the exposure, the stronger your case may be. 
  2. Diagnosis: To file a Fort Dix water contamination lawsuit, you must have a related diagnosis. We are currently accepting cases where claimants have a diagnosis of kidney cancer, bladder cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid cancer, thyroid disease, and other illnesses. 

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

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

As you confirm you meet these requirements, begin collecting documentation to support your case. Any information and proof you can provide will help your attorney fight for your chance at compensation. 

Fort Dix Water Contamination Settlement Amounts

We anticipate toxic exposure settlements from water contamination to payout at around $100,000-$300,000. Actual settlement amounts will vary by case. Some weaker cases may resolve at $30,000-$75,000, while others have the potential to reach $500,000-$1,000,000. How long you were exposed and the nature of your diagnosis can influence the settlement amount.

How to File a Fort Dix Water Contamination Lawsuit

An attorney with a background in environmental law and toxic torts can walk you through the process of filing a Fort Dix water contamination lawsuit, which typically involves the following:

  1. Reach out to an attorney to evaluate your case and confirm your eligibility. 
  2. Gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim, including proof that you were stationed at Fort Dix (such as military orders or discharge papers) and proof of your medical condition. 
  3. Your attorney will draft and file your complaint against the responsible party. In many cases, such as with PFAS lawsuits, claimants hold chemical manufacturers responsible for their injuries. 
  4. After your attorney files the complaint in the appropriate court, they will fight for your compensation. The case may result in a trial verdict or a settlement. 
  5. Ideally, you will reach a settlement that provides you with the compensation you deserve. This money may help with treatment and medical costs, lost wages, and more. 

Evidence to Support Your Claim

Substantial evidence helps strengthen your case and improve your chances of gaining compensation for the effects of Fort Dix water contamination. Evidence can include: 

  • Proof of your time at Fort Dix such as military directives 
  • Proof of toxic exposure during your time at Fort Dix 
  • Medical records confirming your diagnosis 
  • Other details of your illness such as suggested treatments and prognosis
  • Expert testimonies, environmental studies, and other reliable information citing the connection between the toxin you were exposed to and your illness

Evidence to Support Your Claim:

To build a successful legal claim as a result of Fort Jackson water contamination, you’ll typically need:

  • Medical records confirming your diagnosis related to water contamination
  • Records detailing your prognosis and recommended treatment plan
  • Military orders, deployment records, discharge paperwork, and any other proof of your time at Fort Jackson during periods of contamination 
  • Reports and studies detailing the toxins found in Fort Jackson and related health conditions 
  • Additional reports or testimonies advised by your attorney

Lack of evidence, particularly around your time at Fort Jackson and related illness, could complicate your chances at establishing a successful case. Reaching out to an attorney is crucial to determine your eligibility and to get started with the legal process as soon as possible. 

Fort Dix Water Contamination Lawyers

To have the best chance at gaining compensation, you should seek help from an experienced attorney. At King Law, we have handled military cases and environmental litigation, providing us with the expertise needed to fight and advocate on your behalf. If you were a victim of toxic exposure at Fort Dix, reach out today to discuss your options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Still have questions related to Fort Dix water contamination? Keep reading for additional information.

Is Fort Dix water safe to drink?
There are still concerns regarding the safety of Fort Dix drinking water. Veterans and their families have been exposed for years and continue to face related conditions. Furthermore, the most recent Environmental Working Group (EWG) Tap Water Database results cited multiple chemicals exceeding health guidelines.
What are the toxins in Fort Dix?
Toxins of concern at Fort Dix include PFAS, benzene, TCE, PCE, and several other metals and VOCs. Contaminants for the Fort Dix Superfund Site involve groundwater and surface water.
Is Fort Dix a Superfund Site?
Yes, Fort Dix is a Superfund Site. It became a Superfund Site due to the spread of contaminants in the air, soil, and groundwater from the Fort Dix landfill.
What is the lawsuit on Fort Dix?
Individuals across the United States continue to file lawsuits regarding exposure to contaminated drinking water. Many of these cases involve chemicals like PFAS that are common at military bases such as Fort Dix where firefighting foam is used.
What are the environmental issues in Fort Dix?
Fort Dix has had ongoing soil and groundwater contamination issues from military activities. PFAS, benzene, TCE, and PCE are just some of the toxins personnel on and near the base have been exposed to at Fort Dix, all of which pose the risk of cancers and other serious health conditions.
What are the deadlines for filing a claim in the Fort Dix lawsuit?
Individuals should file a claim as soon as possible if they are eligible for a Fort Dix lawsuit. Deadlines vary based on your state’s statute of limitations, which is often based on the time of diagnosis.
What types of health problems are linked to the Fort Dix water contamination?
Cases our firm handles regarding water contamination from exposure like that at Fort Dix include bladder cancer, thyroid cancer, thyroid disease, pancreatic cancer, and kidney cancer.
What evidence do I need for my claim in the Fort Dix lawsuit?
To file a Fort Dix water contamination lawsuit, you must have proof you were exposed to a toxin like PFAS for at least six months while at Fort Dix. You must also have proof of a related diagnosis.
How long will the Fort Dix lawsuit process take?
Environmental litigation can take several months or longer to resolve. Therefore, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to begin the process to ensure your eligibility for timely compensation.
What steps should I take if I was affected by the Fort Dix contamination?
If you were exposed to toxins at Fort Dix, you should notify your healthcare provider and seek care if any symptoms arise. You should also consult with an attorney as soon as you have a related diagnosis to determine your eligibility for a lawsuit.
What kind of compensation can I expect from the Fort Dix lawsuit?
Compensation amounts can vary for water contamination lawsuits and often settle with payouts at around $100,000-$300,000. Actual settlement amounts can vary based on details of your case like duration of exposure and type of diagnosis.
What is the average payout for the Fort Dix lawsuit per person?
Average payouts for water contamination lawsuits can fall between $100,000-$300,000. If you had prolonged exposure with strong evidence to support your case, you may be eligible for $500,000 or more. Payouts may fall under $100,000 if there is a lack of strong evidence.
Is PFAS in Fort Dix water?
Historically, PFAS has been detected in Fort Dix drinking water. It emerged as a chemical of concern at the base back in 2016.
What steps has Fort Dix taken to address the PFAS contamination?
Officials at Fort Dix conduct annual testing for PFAS in drinking water to ensure levels stay within New Jersey’s drinking water guidelines.
What are the main contaminants found in Fort Dix's drinking water?
The main toxins found in Fort Dix drinking water include PFAS, TCE, PCE, and benzene. All of these contaminants can cause cancer.
Who is eligible for the Fort Dix water contamination lawsuit?
Fort Dix water contamination lawsuit eligibility is contingent on at least six months of toxic exposure and diagnosis of a related illness, such as testicular cancer or bladder cancer.
How can individuals affected by the Fort Dix water contamination file a lawsuit?
Victims of Fort Dix water contamination can file a lawsuit by confirming their eligibility with an experienced attorney and providing the evidence needed to substantiate their claim.