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

George Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawsuit Overview

Originally known as Victorville Army Airfield, George Air Force Base was activated in 1941 and was a training ground for pilots and bombardiers. When flying operations stopped after World War II, the site served as a storage space for aircraft until it reopened after the Korean War in 1950, earning its official name as George Air Force Base. For four decades the base trained pilots, air crews, maintenance workers, and various tactical fighting operation teams, including the fighting Interceptor Wing, 131st and 146th Fighter Bomber Wings, 831st Air Division’s 35th Tactical Training Wing, and forces for the 26th North American Aerospace Command (NORAD). George AFB was known for using unique aircraft and was called “Home of the Wild Weasels” thanks to air technology used to detect and destroy enemy defense networks. The base was closed in 1998 under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission and decommissioned in 1992. 

Despite the base’s closure, its name lives on, partially due to long-standing contamination issues. Military activity from 1941-1992 contaminated soil and groundwater with toxins like jet fuel, gasoline, solvents, and PFAS-containing firefighting foam. Military personnel stationed at the base, their family members, and civilians were exposed to contaminated drinking water, which continues to be an issue for communities in the area. Those exposed to toxic water who have developed a related illness may be able to recover compensation by filing a water contamination lawsuit. With settlements potentially averaging around $250,000, thousands of military veterans are now taking legal action.

George Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawsuit Updates

May 2024 – King Law Reviewing George AFB Contamination Cases 

If you lived, served, or worked at George Air Force Base and developed a serious illness related to toxic exposure, you may be entitled to compensation. At King Law, we are reviewing water contamination cases and helping victims build strong claims against chemical manufacturers to recover compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other damages. Schedule a free consultation today to understand your legal options. 

September 2020 – 18 People File Claims Against Government for Chemical Exposure From George AFB 

In 2020, at least 18 people filed claims against the federal government after they developed serious illnesses and conditions linked to chemical exposure at George Air Force Base. Most of the claimants were military veterans. Reported health issues included seizures, emphysema, chronic pain syndrome, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and cervical cancer. 

August 2017 – Veterans Speak Out About Contamination at George AFB

A news article published in August 2017 shared the experiences of veterans who were stationed at military bases with toxic contamination, including George AFB. 

One individual who worked at a gun shop on the base talked about using toxic solvents to clean weapons and how he would get drenched in TCE. He also remembers drinking contaminated water that he claims was dark and tasted like jet fuel. Positioned alongside the Mojave Desert, veterans consumed large amounts of water each day.

On this page:

History of Toxic Exposure at George Air Force Base

2020 – George AFB One of Many Bases In California With PFAS Contamination 

California’s State Water Resources Control Board provides a list of military bases with known or suspected PFAS contamination, as of May 2020. George Air Force Base is listed as one of 62 affected sites. 

2015-2020 – Toxic Exposure at George AFB Affects Numerous Families Once Stationed at the Base 

News articles from 2015 through 2020 continued to share stories from military veterans and their families regarding their toxic exposure at George Air Force Base and related illnesses. People who used to live at the base now suffer from cancer, neurological disorders, reproductive issues, and much more. Family members have lost their husbands, fathers, mothers, and children related to the toxic exposure. Stories of toxic water that smelled like fuel, warnings not to get pregnant while living on the base, and memories of military personnel constantly seeking medical care for various illnesses have made headlines. Protests have been held at the former base and memorials have been built to acknowledge miscarriages, stillbirths, and other deaths related to extreme contamination. 

1991-1995 – Cleanup Efforts Focus on TCE and Jet Fuel Contamination 

Throughout the early 1990s, the Air Force focused on removing TCE and jet fuel from groundwater at the base. They did this through a pump-and-treat (PAT) system, air stripping, passive skimming technology, and supplement soil vapor extraction (SVE). Efforts also worked to remove VOCs and metals from the soil. 

October 1990 – Federal Agreement Signed to Clean Up Base Contamination 

In 1990, George AFB became a Superfund site and was added to the National Priorities List (NPL). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), California, and the U.S. Air Force signed a Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) to address contamination at George Air Force Base. Because of such extensive contamination at the 5,347-acre base, it was broken up into three operable units (OUs) for cleanup.

George Air Force Base Water Contamination Map

By referencing the George Air Force Base water contamination map, you can see the various toxic plumes impacting the area. You can see how widespread contamination is at the former base, as well as the potential impact on groundwater supplies that feed into areas near the base. 

Contaminants Found in George Air Force Base Drinking Water

George Air Force Base has had issues with radioactive materials, PFAS, toxic solvents, and many other chemicals. Those who lived at or near the base could have consumed water with multiple different chemicals, compounding their risk of serious health conditions. 

Per- and Poly-Fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of chemicals that can cause cancer and many other serious illnesses. High levels and long durations of PFAS exposure are a major concern because these “forever chemicals” build up in the body over time, increasing health risks. Exposure to PFAS is linked to: 

  • Birth defects
  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Changes in liver enzymes 
  • Decreased vaccine effectiveness
  • Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Lowered immune response 
  • Multiple-myeloma
  • Kidney cancer 
  • Pancreatic cancer 
  • Prostate cancer 
  • Reproductive issues
  • Testicular cancer 
  • Thyroid cancer 
  • Thyroid disease 
  • Ulcerative colitis

If you know you’ve been exposed to contaminated water, notify your healthcare professional and seek medical attention promptly if you develop related symptoms. 

Other Toxins at George AFB

Other contaminants of concern for George Air Force Base groundwater involve: 

  • Benzene: Commonly used in industrial dyes and lubricants, and is linked to skin and eye irritation, dizziness, headaches, drowsiness, leukemia, anemia, weakened immune system, and reproductive issues. 
  • Ethylbenzene: Often found in fuel, pesticides, and paints, and is linked to throat irritation, dizziness, kidney damage, and some types of cancer. 
  • Tetrachloroethene (PCE): Often found in degreasing agents, and is linked to skin irritation, eye irritation, nose irritation, throat irritation, respiratory issues, liver damage, and some types of cancer. 
  • Toluene: Used in paint thinners and degreasers, and is linked to eye irritation, nose irritation, throat irritation, skin conditions, headache, dizziness, confusion, anxiety, sleeping problems, numbness of hands or feet, reproductive issues, pregnancy loss, and kidney damage. 
  • Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH): A group of compounds found in oil that are linked to blood conditions, immune system problems, kidney damage, reproductive issues, lung problems, skin irritation, eye irritation headaches, dizziness, and nervous system issues. 
  • Trichloroethene (TCE): Commonly found in degreasing solvents, and is linked to dizziness, headaches, sleepiness, nausea, confusion, liver damage, heart defects, pregnancy loss, liver damage, and kidney damage. 
  • Xylene: Often used as a solvent, and is linked to headaches, dizziness, confusion, nausea, vomiting, heart issues, and respiratory problems. 

Additional toxins are present in the base’s soil and solid waste, as noted on its Superfund site page.

Current Water Quality at George Air Force Base

George Air Force Base water is still contaminated with toxic chemicals. While the base is no longer in operation, the site is now home to 17 aviation-related businesses, an aircraft mechanic training school, a prison complex, manufacturing and distribution centers, and a large power plant. All water comes from the City of Victorville and no water from under the AFB is used as drinking water. 

Water Treatment Efforts at George Air Force Base

According to the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, “The Air Force has been working to clean up the former George Air Force Base since 1981, spending over $113 million to rid the ground and two aquifers of jet fuel, solvents, and pesticides.” Initial efforts focused on the removal of jet fuel, gasoline, paints, and solvents that had seeped into the groundwater and soil. However, PFAS was then added to the list among other chemicals of concern, and still continues to be an issue.

Health Risks Linked to Drinking Water at George AFB

King Law is reviewing PFAS claims and water contamination claims that involve the following 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 

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

The list of illnesses linked to George AFB continues to grow as victims face neurological conditions, skin problems, reproductive issues, and much more. Notify your doctor about your history of toxic exposure so they can screen for illnesses and initiate treatment as soon as possible.

Eligibility Criteria for George AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

To be eligible for a George Air Force Base water contamination lawsuit: 

  • You must have had at least six months of exposure to a toxin like PFAS. 
  • You must also have an official diagnosis of a related illness, such as 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

King Law offers free, no-obligation consultations to confirm your eligibility and discuss the potential of your case. Contact us today to learn more about your chances for compensation.

George AFB Water Contamination Settlement Amounts

We anticipate the average settlement amount for George AFB claims to be around $250,000 with a range of $30,000 to $500,000. Actual amounts can vary based on the details of your case. 

For example, strong evidence and factors like a severe diagnosis at a young age may yield settlements closer to $1,000,000. Weak evidence may yield lower settlements closer to $30,000-$75,000. Talk with an attorney experienced in toxic torts for a better understanding of your compensation potential.

How to File a George AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

To file a George Air Force Base water contamination claim, follow these steps:

  1. Schedule an initial consultation with an attorney experienced in environmental law to review your case. 
  2. Collect as much evidence as possible to prove your exposure at the base and development of a related illness. 
  3. Support your attorney as they build your case and file it in the appropriate court on your behalf. 
  4. Discuss options with your attorney to decide if a settlement or court verdict is best. While verdicts can result in higher payouts, they often take longer and put you at risk of earning no compensation. 
  5. If the case resolves in your favor, you can earn compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages associated with your toxic exposure. 

Rest assured that King Law’s attorneys can walk you through each step of the process.

Evidence to Support Your George Air Force Base Claim

To help ensure the strength and success of your case, collect as much evidence as possible. This may include: 

  • Medical records detailing your prognosis, symptoms, limitations, etc.
  • Military orders, directives, and discharge paperwork substantiating your time at George Air Force Base 
  • Proof that you were exposed to toxic water at the base and for how long
  • Expert testimonies, environmental studies, and other reliable resources highlighting the risks of your toxic exposure and connection to your diagnosis

Statute of Limitations for George AFB Water Contamination Claims

Personal injury claims must be filed within a certain timeframe, called a statute of limitations. This varies by state but is usually around two to three years from the date of your diagnosis. For example, California’s personal injury statute of limitations is two years. File your claim as soon as possible to ensure your eligibility. 

George Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawyers

Attorneys with experience in toxic exposure can provide the right guidance and resources to strengthen your case. At King Law, we know what it takes to support military veterans and their families as they pursue justice and seek to recover damages associated with their exposure at a military base. With the right support throughout the claim-filing process, you can rest assured we’re doing everything possible to get you the justice you deserve. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To learn more about water contamination at George Air Force Base and how to file a claim, read the following answers to frequently asked questions.

Is George Air Force Base water safe to drink?
Water from George Air Force Base is not safe to drink. Water for areas at the former base is supplied by the City of Victorville. No water is used from below the base.
What are the toxins in George Air Force Base?
George Air Force Base has extensive soil and groundwater contamination with chemicals like benzene, TCE, PCE, and PFAS, among others.
Is George Air Force Base a Superfund site?
Yes, George Air Force Base is a Superfund site with cleanup efforts extending back to 1981.
What is the lawsuit on George Air Force Base?
Veterans, family members, and civilians who once lived and worked at George Air Force Base are now filing lawsuits against chemical manufacturers after they were exposed to toxic drinking water and developed life-threatening illnesses.
What are the environmental issues in George Air Force Base?
Military activity at George Air Force Base led to air, groundwater, and soil contamination. Sources of contamination include the use of firefighting foam, industrial solvents, degreasers, and fuel oil.
What are the deadlines for filing a claim in the George Air Force Base lawsuit?
Deadlines can vary by state and the circumstances of the case can also impact the deadline to file a lawsuit. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your claim eligibility.
What types of health problems are linked to the George Air Force Base water contamination?
Those who consumed contaminated George Air Force Base water may be at risk of kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, testicular cancer, bladder cancer, thyroid cancer, thyroid disease, and ulcerative colitis, among other conditions like neurological disorders and reproductive problems.
What evidence do I need for my claim in the George Air Force Base lawsuit?
To file a George AFB lawsuit, you must have proof of your exposure at the base and proof that you were diagnosed with a related illness. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case is likely to be.
How long will the George Air Force Base lawsuit process take?
While each case varies, it can take several months to complete a military water contamination lawsuit.
What steps should I take if I was affected by the George Air Force Base contamination?
After seeking appropriate medical care for any health issues related to drinking toxic water, you should contact an attorney to learn more about your legal options.
What is the average payout for the George Air Force Base lawsuit?
We anticipate settlements to pay out around $250,000 on average for George Air Force Base claims. Actual amounts will vary based on the strength of your case.
Is PFAS in George Air Force Base water?
Yes, groundwater at George AFB contains PFAS.
What steps has George Air Force Base taken to address the PFAS contamination?
Most of the cleanup efforts at George AFB have focused on fuel, solvents, and pesticides. Remedial investigations are still underway for PFAS.
What are the main contaminants found in George Air Force Base's drinking water?
The main toxins found in George AFB water include PFAS, TCE, PCE, and benzene.
Who is eligible for the George Air Force Base water contamination lawsuit?
Individuals exposed to a toxin at George AFB for at least six months, who then developed a related illness, may be eligible for a contamination lawsuit.
How can individuals affected by the George Air Force Base water contamination file a lawsuit?
To file a George AFB water contamination claim, schedule a consultation with a law firm like King Law to access quality guidance and representation.