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

Hill Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawsuit Overview

Hill Air Force Base’s history dates back to 1939 when Congress funded construction of the Ogden Air Depot in the Salt Lake City area. It was named Hill Field with official operations starting in 1940. The field acted as a maintenance and supply place during World War II where military personnel repaired and rehabilitated aircraft for combat. It took on storage responsibilities for aircraft and associated supplies from 1944 to 1947 when the Army Air Corps became the United States Air Force and Hill Field became Hill Air Force Base in 1948. From the 1950s through the 1990s, Hill AFB supported aircraft initiatives for the invasion of South Korea and the war in Southeast Asia. It saw the operation and management of multiple different traditional aircraft, jet aircraft, missiles, helicopters, and combat aircraft. 

Today, Hill AFB is Utah’s largest employer with a $960 million payroll and current value of over $4.5 billion. However, those living and working on the base, and those who have in the past, face fears surrounding toxic chemical exposure. Military activity at the base, such as the use of firefighting foam, led to chemical contamination of the soil, groundwater, and air. Drinking water contamination has been of particular concern as individuals consume toxic drinking water that has “forever chemicals” that build up in the body over time and can lead to life-threatening conditions. For those who were exposed to contaminated water at Hill AFB and later developed a related illness, help may be available by filing a lawsuit.

Hill Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawsuit Updates

May 2024 – Hill Air Force Base Veterans File Toxic Exposure Claims

Hill Air Force veterans and their families are joining thousands of other claimants who are filing water contamination lawsuits after toxic exposure at military bases. After the military used Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) during fire training and emergency response situations, PFAS within the foam entered the ground at storage sites, training fields, and other areas of the base, impacting groundwater and drinking water. Those who consumed the water and developed serious illnesses are now seeking justice and compensation to help with lost wages, medical bills, and other damages. 

2009 – Hill Air Force Base Study Shows Connection Between Chemical Exposure and Cancer Cases

A 2009 publication looked at 14,455 workers from Hill Air Force Base to understand how certain chemicals involved with aircraft maintenance increase cases of cancer and other illnesses. Elevated risks of cancer and associated deaths were found for many chemicals, confirming previous study results. While many veterans now face life-threatening illnesses and are unaware of the cause, this information could shed light on their toxic exposure and give them the opportunity to take legal action.

On this page:

History of Toxic Exposure at Hill Air Force Base

2021-2024 – PFAS Remedial Investigation Underway

With worries about PFAS exposure at an all-time high across the country, military sites continue to make slow progress toward completing remedial investigations and beginning cleanup efforts, including at Hill Air Force Base. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has focused on 16 cleanup areas for the Superfund site with final remedies selected for 14 of them. 

  • Focus areas: Landfills, chemical and waste pits, fire training areas, golf courses, sludge drying beds, dumps, spill areas, and groundwater contaminant plumes. 
  • Long-term remedies: Landfill caps, pump-and-treat systems for groundwater, asphalt caps, soil vapor extraction, surface water treatment, institutional controls, and more. 

These remedies have not yet been scheduled and aren’t necessarily inclusive of PFAS, which is listed as an “emerging contaminant” that is “under investigation.” 

2019 – Communities Near Hill AFB Experience Toxic Fumes 

News articles reported how community members were asked by Air Force officials to undergo testing to identify toxic air around their homes. According to a news source, chemicals used to clean aircraft parts were buried in the ground, contaminating groundwater that then spread to nearby communities. 

Within the same year, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) formed a workgroup to further evaluate PFAS environmental contamination. 

2018 – PFAS Levels Exceed Lifetime Health Advisory at Hill AFB

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), DoD data shows that PFAS levels (PFOS+PFOA) exceeded the EPA’s Lifetime Health Advisory (LHA). The maximum level tested was 930 ppt while the LHA is 70 ppt. Furthermore, the EPA’s interim updated health advisory for PFOA is 0.004 ppt and 0.02 ppt for PFOS. 

2016 – Copper Levels Exceed Drinking Water Standards in Hill AFB Water 

Testing during mid-2016 revealed high levels of copper in Hill Air Force Base tap water. Of 36 samples, 11 exceeded drinking water standards. Consuming water with high levels of copper can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, kidney damage and liver damage. 

2015 – PFAS Assessment Identifies Contamination From Firefighting Foam 

In 2015, officials conducted a Preliminary Assessment Report for the Utah base. Areas with potential AFFF releases at the base include 3 fire training areas, 20 hangars, 3 fire stations, 3 crash sites, 1 fuel spill site, 2 spray test areas, and 2 ponds. Of these sites, 18 were flagged for additional investigation with suspected PFAS-containing firefighting foam use for fire training, fire suppression systems, fire suppression system testing, foam storage, and repeated application of foam to the ground. 

2007 – PCB-Contaminated Soil Identified in Hill AFB Family Housing 

In early 2007, testing revealed polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the soil below around 100 different homes in the base’s family housing section. This triggered additional testing and the start of cleanup efforts in September of the same year with the planned removal of around 1,700 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated soil.

Hill Air Force Base Water Contamination Map

Water contamination at Hill Air Force Base impacts several sites. Most of them are located around the perimeter of the base, impacting nearby communities and bodies of water. Most of the contamination is from chemical dumping and activity that led to the direct application of chemicals to the ground, such as the use of firefighting foam. In total, the EPA has identified 16 Operable Units (OUs) with confirmed soil, groundwater, or indoor air contamination impacting 7 different communities: Clearfield, Clinton, Layon, Riverdale, Roy, South Wever, and Sunset, Utah. 

Hill Air Force Base Drinking Water Contaminants

Numerous contaminants have been found in drinking water at Hill Air Force Base. This includes PFAS, PCBs, metals, arsenic, benzene, fuel oil, and more. Alone, these toxins pose multiple health risks. Together, this risk is heightened. 

Per- and Poly-Fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of carcinogenic synthetic chemicals commonly found in firefighting foam the military used for decades. 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

Because these chemicals build up in the body over time, long-term exposure heightens your risk of developing these conditions. 

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) represent a group of organic chemicals that are odorless and tasteless. They were manufactured from 1929-1979 when they were banned. PCBs were used in hydraulic oil and motor oil, making them a prominent contaminant at air force bases. PCBs are linked to: 

  • Damaged immune system 
  • Reproductive problems 
  • Neurological disorders 
  • Changes to the endocrine system 
  • Liver cancer 
  • Malignant melanoma 

Other Toxins at Hill Air Force Bases

Some other contaminants of concern in Hill AFB groundwater include: 

  • Acetone
  • Arsenic
  • Benzene 
  • Bisphthalate
  • Bromodichloromethane
  • Butanone
  • Carbon tetrachloride 
  • Chloroform
  • Chromium
  • Dichloroethane
  • Dichloropropane
  • Dinitrotoluene
  • Trichloroethene
  • Toluene
  • Vinyl chloride 

Many of these chemicals came from solvents, degreasers, oil, water disinfectants, and other industrial agents the military used to operate, maintain, and repair equipment on the base. In addition to cancer, they are linked to a range of reproductive, neurological, and gastrointestinal problems.

Current Water Quality at Hill Air Force Base

The most recent water quality report for Hill AFB is from 2022 with fluoride as the only violation. Most of the samples were taken from 2016-2022. While PFAS was tested for, the report notes that current health advisory limits for PFAS are below the detectable limit, so there are potentially exceedances they weren’t able to identify and share with the public. 

Furthermore, EWG data from 2014-2019 notes health guideline exceedances for 14 contaminants, including arsenic. Despite the water’s quality today, veterans, family members, and civilians consumed contaminated water for decades and are continuing to develop life-altering conditions. 

Water Treatment Efforts at Hill Air Force Base

Remedial investigations are still underway to determine the best methods for removing PFAS contamination from Hill AFB. However, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center did start discussing new PFAS treatment technologies at the base in 2022. Efforts to replace PFAS-contaminated firefighting foam with a safer alternative were announced by Hill AFB in April 2024.

Health Risks Linked to Drinking Water at Hill AFB

There are numerous health risks and symptoms connected to the toxins found in Hill AFB drinking water. At King Law, we are currently reviewing cases that involve: 

  • 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

Notify your healthcare provider about your exposure to contaminated drinking water so they can monitor for symptoms and provide treatment as soon as possible. And if you develop any symptoms, seek care right away. If you’ve already been diagnosed with any of these conditions, contact us to schedule a consultation where we will help you uncover your legal options.

Eligibility Criteria for Hill AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

There are two key requirements you must meet to file a Hill AFB water contamination or PFAS lawsuit, including: 

  1. Exposure to a toxin at Hill AFB for at least six months
  2. Diagnosis of a condition related to your toxic exposure 

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

If you’re unsure about your eligibility, reach out to us today. We will review your case and provide you with more information about your potential opportunity for compensation.

Hill AFB Water Contamination Settlement Amounts

Based on similar claims, we anticipate Hill AFB cases to settle between $30,000 and $500,000 with an average settlement amount of $250,000. Depending on the strength of your case, you could see less or more. 

For example, cases with strong evidence may see results closer to $1,000,000. Weaker cases may fall closer to $30,000-$75,000. Other facts that can influence your payout amount include age at the time of diagnosis, severity of diagnosis, and duration of toxic exposure. Rest assured that King Law will fight to get you every penny you deserve.

How to File a Hill AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

Here’s how to file a Hill AFB water contamination lawsuit: 

  1. Schedule an initial consultation with an experienced attorney, preferably one who has a background in handling toxic torts. 
  2. Collect as much evidence as you can to support your case, including proof of your exposure and diagnosis. 
  3. Ensure you’re available to your attorney as they build your case and file it with the appropriate court on your behalf. 
  4. Follow your attorney’s guidance. They may suggest you pursue a court verdict or they may advise you to accept a settlement. 
  5. Ideally, your claim will be successful and you can earn compensation to help with lost wages, medical bills, and other damages you’ve experienced because of your exposure at Hill AFB. 

Water contamination claims can take several months to resolve. Furthermore, going to trial can lengthen the process even more. Settlements are common for these types of claims, often improving your chances of compensation and providing quicker payouts. 

Evidence to Support Your Hill Air Force Base Claim

The more evidence you have to support your Hill AFB, the stronger it will be. Evidence can include: 

  • Medical records detailing your official diagnosis and other details like symptoms, prognosis, and treatment. 
  • Military records that prove when you were stationed at Hill AFB. This could include discharge paperwork or military directives. 
  • Proof of your toxic exposure including any information on the extent and duration. 
  • Expert testimonies, environmental studies, and other reliable resources highlighting the risks of your toxic exposure and connection to your diagnosis.

Statute of Limitations for Hill AFB Water Contamination Claims

Statutes of limitations set deadlines for when you must file a claim, which vary by state and type of claim. Hill Air Force Base water contamination deadlines also vary by state and the circumstances of your case. It is important to seek the advice of an attorney as quickly as possible to understand your timeline to file a lawsuit.

Hill Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawyers

If you’re considering filing a water contamination lawsuit, seek out a lawyer who has experience in environmental law. At King Law, we have a strong background representing veterans, their families, and others impacted by environmental exposure. We have the expertise and resources necessary to advocate on your behalf and get you the justice and compensation that you deserve. To learn more about your potential for a settlement, contact us today to set up a no-obligation consultation. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Read answers to the following frequently asked questions for more information on Hill Air Force base water contamination claims. 

Is Hill Air Force Base water safe to drink?
Hill AFB groundwater continues to test positive for PFAS with investigations still underway.
What are the toxins in Hill Air Force Base?
Contaminants of concern at Hill AFB include PFAS, PCBs, benzene, arsenic, and more. 
Is Hill Air Force Base a Superfund site?
Hill Air Force Base became a Superfund site and was added to the EPA’s National Priorities List in 1987.  
What is the lawsuit on Hill Air Force Base?
Those who lived at Hill AFB are joining others in filing lawsuits against chemical manufacturers after exposure to toxic chemicals at military bases.
What are the environmental issues in Hill Air Force Base?
The use of firefighting foam, solvents, degreasers, and other chemicals at Hill AFB led to soil, groundwater, and air contamination.
What are the deadlines for filing a claim in the Hill Air Force Base lawsuit?
Statute of limitations to file a claim for a Hill AFB water contamination claim will vary by state and the circumstances of a case. Contact an attorney to understand your filing deadlines.
What types of health problems are linked to the Hill Air Force Base water contamination?
Water contamination at Hill Air Force Base is linked to 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 Hill Air Force Base lawsuit?
To file a Hill AFB lawsuit, you need proof of your exposure at the base and diagnosis of a related illness.
How long will the Hill Air Force Base lawsuit process take?
Water contamination lawsuits can take several months or longer, which is why it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to begin the process. 
What steps should I take if I was affected by the Hill Air Force Base contamination?
Seek medical care after being affected by water contamination. To pursue legal action and compensation, schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss your case.
What is the average payout for the Hill Air Force Base lawsuit?
Based on similar cases, we predict Hill AFB settlements to average around $250,000 with a full range of $30,000 to $500,000.
Is PFAS in Hill Air Force Base water?
Yes, PFAS has been identified in Hill AFB water.
What steps has Hill Air Force Base taken to address the PFAS contamination?
Hill Air Force Base has conducted preliminary investigations to identify the extent of PFAS contamination at the base with remedial investigations underway.
What are the main contaminants found in Hill Air Force Base's drinking water?
Hill Air Force Base drinking water has been contaminated with arsenic, benzene, PFAS, PCBs, and other cancer-causing chemicals.
Who is eligible for the Hill Air Force Base water contamination lawsuit?
If you were exposed to a toxin for at least six months at Hill AFB and developed a related illness, you could be eligible for a water contamination lawsuit.  
How can individuals affected by the Hill Air Force Base water contamination file a lawsuit?
To file a water contamination lawsuit, schedule a consultation with an attorney and begin collecting evidence to show your exposure at Hill AFB and diagnosis with a related condition.