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

Fort Lee Water Contamination Lawsuit Overview

Camp Lee was constructed in 1917 after the United States declared war against Germany. Troops were trained here before going to the western front and the base was considered one of the largest “cities” in Virginia. Camp Lee was an out-processing center until 1921 when it was closed and its buildings torn down. In late August 1940, war was on the horizon again, so the Camp was rebuilt. It housed training centers, schools, camps, and much more while earning a reputation as “one of the most effective and best-run military installations in the country.” Operations continued after World War II and Camp Lee became a permanent facility, Fort Lee. The base underwent modernization and opened numerous additional facilities before it was renamed Fort Gregg-Adams in 2023. Today, the daily population averages around 29,000 and includes members from all branches of the military, their families, civilians, and contractors. Additionally, around 70,000 troops spend time in Fort Lee classrooms every year. 

Fort Lee is one of multiple military bases in the United States with water contamination concerns. Military activity has caused chemicals to enter soil and groundwater, impacting drinking water quality for those living and working on the base. Aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) is a firefighting foam that has been a major source of contamination because it contains PFAS, a group of cancer-causing chemicals. The foam was used at the base to put out fires. Where the foam was used, stored, or disposed of, it risked entering soil and groundwater at the base. Thousands of veterans and their families are now suing chemical manufacturers because they face illnesses like cancer from drinking PFAS-contaminated water.

Fort Lee Water Contamination Lawsuit Updates

April 2024 – King Law Accepting Fort Lee Water Contamination Lawsuits 

King Law is reviewing cases involving victims of water contamination at Fort Lee, now known as Fort Gregg-Adams. If you were stationed at Fort Lee, were exposed to contaminated water, and developed an illness like thyroid cancer, thyroid disease, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, or bladder cancer, you could be eligible for compensation through a lawsuit. Contact us today to confirm your eligibility. 

June 2023 – Companies Seek Settlements in Water Contamination Lawsuits 

More and more communities across the United States joined lawsuits seeking to hold chemical manufacturers responsible for drinking water and environmental contamination. In 2023, some reached multimillion-dollar settlements with compensation slated to cover the costs of extensive filtration and cleanup efforts. 

December 2022 – Fort Lee Listed As Base With PFAS Contamination

Originally, PFAS advisory levels were set at 70 ppt. However, guidelines were updated with recommended levels moved to less than 1 ppt. With the updated recommendations, multiple military bases were added to the list of sites with unsafe levels of PFAS in drinking water, including Fort Lee. This also expanded the number of veterans, family members, and civilians seeking legal action for wrongful exposure.

On this page:

Historical Background of Toxic Exposure at Fort Lee

2023 – Army Cleanup Program Identifies Sources of PFAS Contamination at Fort Lee

After concluding a preliminary assessment, the U.S. Army Environmental Command (USAEC) identified PFAS concerns linked to two fire stations and six fire training areas at Fort Lee. This triggered the need for remedial investigation to determine the extent of PFAS contamination and the need for cleanup. 

December 2022 – Fort Lee Listed as Base With “Forever Chemicals” in Drinking Water 

In December 2022, the EWG released an article naming 116 military installations with PFAS or “forever chemicals” in drinking water. Fort Lee was on this list with levels listed at 1.5 ppt. This is the most recent PFOA+PFOS result shared on the Fort Lee/Fort Gregg-Adams website.

2021 – EWG Finds Multiple Tap Water Contaminants Exceeding Guidelines 

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) Tap Water Database provided a 2021 update listing 24 total contaminants in Fort Lee tap water, 11 of which exceeded EWG Health Guidelines. Additionally, water quality reports for Hopewell indicated PFAS levels ranging up to 2.7 ppt. Keep in mind: Fort Gregg-Adams is located in the three cities of Hopewell, Colonial Heights, and Petersburg, so all of these cities face water contamination on and near the base. 

2013-2018: PCE Exceedances Detected in Groundwater 

Groundwater sampling from 2013 to 2018 revealed levels of PCE above Maximum Contamination Limits (MCLs) with the risk of migration to nearby waterways. Sampling was slated to continue every five years until there were no exceedances. 

1989-1995 – Fuel Oil Found in Groundwater 

Sampling from 1989 through 1995 revealed groundwater contamination with fuel oil petroleum, pesticides, benzene, ethylbenzene, xylene, arsenic, beryllium, thallium, zinc, and lead. Additional monitoring initiated along with landfill boundary delineation and capping, improved draining, and demolition/removal of a fire training facility.

This infographic shows a timeline of Fort Lee from it's establishment to current day, noting significant moments related to the contamination of the groundwater at Fort Lee.

Fort Lee Water Contamination Map

This map shows the water flow direction in and around Fort Lee, wells within a 5 mile radius of Fort Lee, and areas with PFAS risk level exceedance.

Reference the Fort Lee, Virginia water contamination map to see the fire training areas where firefighting foam was used and contributed to PFAS soil and groundwater contamination. The visual also shows how the base extends into Petersburg, New Bohemia, and Hopewell, putting those communities at risk of toxin migration. 

Contaminants Found in Fort Lee Drinking Water

PFAS is the largest contaminant of concern in Fort Lee’s drinking water. However, fuel oil and fuel oil constituents have also been a major concern for decades. Individuals who consumed contaminated water at this base and developed adverse health conditions should see if they’re eligible for an exposure lawsuit. 

Per- and Poly-Fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), “PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1940s. These chemicals do not break down and build up in the body and the environment over time. 

PFAS is linked to testicular cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, thyroid cancer, thyroid disease, lower immune response, decreased vaccine efficacy, birth defects, and more. Because of the use of firefighting foam at Fort Lee, veterans stationed there are at risk of developing these illnesses. 

Fuel Oil Contaminants 

Fuel oil contamination was first identified at Fort Lee in 1989 near the Petroleum Training Facility. Fuel constituents found in soil and water at the base included petroleum hydrocarbons, benzene, ethylbenzene, and xylene. Many exceeded EPA Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs), such as benzene at 26 times the MCL. The toxins were scattered around the site and risked migration, magnifying public health risks. 

These toxins can cause an array of negative side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory issues, headaches, dizziness, and trouble breathing. Long-term exposure to benzene is linked to leukemia and other blood cell cancers. 

Other Toxins

Other toxins identified in Fort Lee drinking water that exceeded EWG Guidelines include: 

  • Bromochloroacetic, dibromoacetic, dichloroacetic, haloacetic, and trichloroacetic acids
  • Bromodichloromethane and dibromochloromethane
  • Chloroform
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) 
  • Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) 

These contaminants can cause respiratory issues, nervous system problems, and increased cancer risk.

Current Water Quality at Fort Lee

According to the most recent 2023 Fort Gregg-Adams Water Quality Report, all contaminants tested for in drinking water were within regulation. However, there are multiple toxins, including PFAS that are unregulated. Low levels of some types of PFAS were detected in the 2023 report. And, those living on and near the base have been exposed to PFAS and other toxins for decades, putting them at risk of life-threatening illnesses. 

Water Treatment Efforts at Fort Lee

Fort Lee water undergoes regular testing to identify potential contaminants. Drinking water undergoes typical treatment and filtration processes. Regarding PFAS cleanup efforts, the most recent cleanup status for Fort Lee is listed as “PA/SI and RI Underway,” meaning investigations are still taking place to understand the extent of PFAS contamination and cleanup efforts required.

Health Risks Linked to Drinking Water at Fort Lee

Consuming water contaminated with PFAS is linked to many different symptoms and conditions. Our firm is currently reviewing cases that involve the following PFAS-related diagnoses: 

  • 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

Additional illnesses related to water with PFAS include: 

  • Anemia
  • Birth defects
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Decreased immune response
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Kidney damage
  • Lowered vaccine effectiveness 
  • Neurological conditions 
  • Reproductive problems 

Inform your healthcare provider if you know you’ve been exposed to toxic drinking water, and be sure to seek medical attention as soon as any symptoms emerge.

Eligibility Criteria for Fort Lee Water Contamination Lawsuit

To be eligible for a Fort Lee water contamination lawsuit, you must meet the following requirements: 

  1. You must have at least six months of toxic exposure: Claimants typically must have at least six months of toxic exposure to file a water contamination claim. The longer your exposure, the stronger your PFAS case could be. This is because PFAS builds up in the body and increases your risk of serious health illnesses. 
  2. You must have a related diagnosis: Claimants must have an official diagnosis related to their exposure. We are currently reviewing cases that involve cancers like bladder, breast, kidney, liver, pancreatic, prostate, and testicular cancer. 

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

Proof of your time at Fort Lee, exposure to a toxin like PFAS, and development of a related condition will help solidify your case and increase your chances for compensation.

Fort Lee Water Contamination Settlement Amounts

The exact amount of compensation you’re entitled to through a Fort Lee water contamination settlement or verdict depends on the specifics of your case. The severity of your diagnosis, economic damages resulting from your injury, and the amount of evidence are all factors that can influence your payout amount. 

Based on previous environmental litigation, we anticipate Fort Lee settlements to range from $30,000 to $500,000 with an average settlement amount of around $250,000. Amounts can be higher or lower depending on the strength of your legal claim. At King Law, we know what it takes to fortify your case and improve your chances of getting the compensation you deserve to combat medical costs and other financial damages.

How to File a Fort Lee Water Contamination Lawsuit

The process to file a Fort Lee water contamination claim typically involves: 

  1. Contact an attorney experienced in toxic torts and environmental law for an initial consultation.
  2. Confirm your eligibility including at least six months of exposure and a related diagnosis. 
  3. Gather the appropriate evidence as requested by your attorney. 
  4. Your attorney will file the claim on your behalf in the appropriate court. 
  5. Follow your attorney’s guidance to pursue a settlement or verdict. 
  6. Ideally, the claim will resolve in your favor and you’ll get compensation. 

If you’re considering an exposure lawsuit, don’t delay. Doing so can hinder your chances of recovering damages. 

Evidence to Support Your Fort Lee Water Contamination Claim

Evidence is crucial to establishing your Fort Lee water contamination claim. It may include: 

  • Military records proving you were stationed or lived at Fort Lee when water was contaminated 
  • Medical records detailing your diagnosis and severity of illness 
  • Proof of water contamination at Fort Lee like water quality reports, state investigations, etc. 
  • Any other testimonies and documentation deemed appropriate by your attorney

Statute of Limitations for Fort Lee Water Contamination Claims

The deadlines to file a Fort Lee water contamination claim, also referred to as statutes of limitations, vary by state and type of claim. For water contamination claims, individuals will likely have a specific time perion from the date of their diagnosis to file a lawsuit. However, deadlines vary based on certain circumstances so you should contact an attorney to confirm.

Fort Lee Water Contamination Lawyers

Attorney experience can impact the success of your water contamination claim. At King Law, we have experience dealing with lawsuits involving wrongful exposure at military bases, so we know what it takes to build a PFAS claim with the best opportunity to resolve in your favor. Consider moving forward with a law firm with positive testimonies, a strong background in toxic torts, and appropriate resources to advocate on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Read answers to questions you may have regarding Fort Lee water contamination and associated legal claims. 

Is Fort Lee water safe to drink?
Recent Fort Lee water quality reports suggest the water is safe to drink. However, contaminants have exceeded guidelines and suggested safety levels in years past, putting individuals at risk of serious illnesses, especially military veterans and their families.
What are the toxins in Fort Lee?
Fort Lee has experienced drinking water contamination involving PFAS and fuel oil byproducts.
Is Fort Lee a Superfund site?
Fort Lee does have a Superfund site profile, though it is not on the National Priorities List (NPL).
What is the lawsuit on Fort Lee?
Veterans and others who consumed contaminated drinking water at military bases like Fort Lee are now suing chemical manufacturers after developing related illnesses.
What are the environmental issues in Fort Lee?
Military activity at Fort Lee, including the use of PFAS-containing firefighting foam, has led to environmental contamination.
What are the deadlines for filing a claim in the Fort Lee lawsuit?
Individuals should contact an attorney to understand their deadline for filing a Fort Lee claim as they vary by state and circumstances of the case.
What types of health problems are linked to the Fort Lee water contamination?
The contaminants found in Fort Lee drinking water are linked to testicular cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid cancer, thyroid disease, and other serious illnesses.
What evidence do I need for my claim in the Fort Lee lawsuit?
To file a Fort Lee water contamination claim, you need proof of your time at Fort Lee during a time of exposure, proof of exposure, and proof that you were diagnosed with a related illness.
How long will the Fort Lee lawsuit process take?
Water contamination lawsuits, including those involving Fort Lee, can take several months or longer to resolve.
What steps should I take if I was affected by the Fort Lee contamination?
Medical care is a top priority for those experiencing symptoms of toxic exposure. To file a claim, you must first consult with an experienced attorney.
What kind of compensation can I expect from the Fort Lee lawsuit?
Based on previous related lawsuits, Fort Lee water contamination settlements may range from $30,000 to $500,000 with an average settlement amount of $250,000.
Is PFAS in Fort Lee water?
Yes, PFAS has been identified in Fort Lee water.
What steps has Fort Lee taken to address the PFAS contamination?
Fort Lee continues to take water samples to identify PFAS contamination. States across the United States continue to demand further action to actively remove PFAS from affected soil and groundwater.
Who is eligible for the Fort Lee water contamination lawsuit?
You may be eligible for a Fort Lee water contamination lawsuit if you were exposed to a toxin there for at least six months and developed a related illness.
How can individuals affected by the Fort Lee water contamination file a lawsuit?
Individuals interested in filing a Fort Lee water contamination claim should consult with an attorney to confirm their eligibility.