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

Holloman Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawsuit Overview

Holloman AFB was established in November 1942 as Alamogordo Air Field, becoming a central training site during and after World War II. It was renamed in 1948 after Col. George Holloman, a pioneering rocket scientist, is home to the world’s longest and fastest test track for aircraft military drills and houses more than 20,000 National Guard members (active and retired), and family members. Around 11,000 families live there. 

When not in use for training, the base is open to the public for organized group tours. The air bases defensive capabilities include F-16 Fighting Falcons with a cruising speed of 577 mph and being a fast mover, maxing out at nearly 1,400 mph.

Despite its primary function as one of the largest National Guard training facilities in the United States, Holloman AFB is facing challenges related to long-term water contamination. The use of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) for fire suppression, which contains PFAS chemicals, has led to significant environmental concerns. PFAS, known for their persistence in the environment and in human bodies, have been linked to severe health issues including various cancers and thyroid diseases. The application and disposal of AFFF at the base resulted in PFAS seeping into the soil, groundwater, and drinking water, impacting not only the base but also harming many people and the surrounding environment.

King Law is actively supporting and guiding affected individuals in the Holloman AFB water contamination lawsuit. If you spent time at Holloman AFB and developed a disease related to PFAS exposure, please call our attorneys, as they can help you obtain compensation.

Holloman Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawsuit Updates

MAY 15, 2024 – NEW STUDY CONFIRMS LOCAL SPECIES INCLUDING LONG RANGING GAME SPECIES ARE CONTAMINATED

In a follow up study by the University of New Mexico, it was discovered that there is wide ranging biodiverse contamination of local animal species (in particular, birds) increasing the exposure of PFAS chemicals from Holloman Air Force Base to the local community of Alamogordo and Otero County. 

MAY 2024 – KING LAW ACCEPTING HOLLOMAN AFB 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 Holloman AFB. 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.

FEBRUARY 2019 – 3X THE RECOMMENDED AMOUNT OF TOXINS DISCOVERED

PFAS samples at Hollman were found to be as high as 1,294,00 parts per trillion (pptn),  more than 18 times the recommended human lifetime exposure to toxic PFAS. The New Mexico Environment Department issued a notice of violation to Holloman AFB advising that the presence of PFAS in surface and groundwater is a breach of the New Mexico Water Quality Act (NMWQA) and associated regulations. Litigation begins against Holloman AFB by the New Mexico Environment Department.

NOVEMBER 2018 – TOXIC CHEMICALS FOUND

The Air Force informed the New Mexico Environment Department about the presence of toxic PFAS surfactants in surface and groundwater.

On this page:

History of Toxic Exposure at Holloman Air Force Base

In 2016, the U.S. Air Force identified more than 30 areas where PFAS could be at Holloman AFB. In 2018 contractors discovered five areas where toxic PFAS was present in soil, sediment, ground and surface water.

In 2019 New Mexico regulators began legal action against Holloman AFB. As of June 2023, the groundwater at Holloman AFB is considered non-drinkable with total dissolved solids (TDS) concentration far exceeding safe levels at 10,000 milligrams per liter (mg/L).  Consuming water with high levels of copper can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, kidney damage and liver damage as well as painful kidney stones and heart disease. 

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 Holloman Air Force Base.

Holloman Air Force Base Water Contamination Map

The above map showcases the extent of water contamination at Holloman AFB and the surrounding areas in Monterey Bay. The solid color shapes show the extent of contaminated drinking water (elevated levels in TCE, CT, and PCE) in various aquifers surrounding the area at their historical peak. The solid color lines with no fill show the current extent of contaminated drinking water. These areas have decreased in size from their max contamination due to cleanup efforts. However, these aquifer plumes continue to have elevated concentrations of toxic chemicals. As shown above, during prior times, water contamination expanded beyond Holloman AFB boundaries, contaminating the community’s drinking supply.

Contaminants Found in Holloman Air Force Base Drinking Water

PFAS Contamination:

Holloman’s site is contaminated with Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) and other toxic agents. This contamination poses significant health risks to people stationed at Holloman AFB and the surrounding locale.

Bromodichloromethane 

Bromodichloromethane is a trihalomethane often found in chlorinated drinking water as a byproduct of the disinfection process. It forms when chlorine reacts with natural organic matter in the water. Ingesting bromodichloromethane can pose several health risks, including potential liver, kidney, and central nervous system damage. Long-term exposure has been associated with an increased risk of cancer, particularly in the liver and kidneys, as well as reproductive and developmental issues (Center for Disease Control)

Bromoform 

Bromoform, another trihalomethane, is similarly formed during water disinfection when chlorine or other disinfectants react with bromide ions and organic matter. Exposure to high levels of bromoform through drinking water can lead to symptoms like dizziness, headaches, and central nervous system effects. Chronic ingestion may increase the risk of cancer, specifically liver and respiratory tract cancers. There is also some evidence suggesting potential impacts on liver and kidney function including prenatal toxicity over prolonged exposure periods.

Dibromoacetic acid

Dibromoacetic acid is a halogenated acetic acid derivative that forms as a disinfection byproduct in treated water. Consuming water containing dibromoacetic acid can lead to a variety of adverse health effects, including liver and kidney toxicity. Animal studies have indicated that it may also have carcinogenic potential, particularly in the liver. Additionally, there are concerns about its impact on reproductive health (spermiogenesis) and developmental processes with long-term exposure.

Current Water Quality at Holloman Air Force Base

The current water quality at Holloman Air Force Base has been found to be non-potable for groundwater sources according to a 2023 New Mexico Government review

In addition to PFAS, the following toxic agents have been found at Holloman Air Force Base:

  • bromodichloromethane.
  • bromoform.
  • dibromoacetic acid.
  • dibromochloromethane.
  • haloacetic acids.
  • nitrate.
  • nitrite.
  • trihalomethanes.

Water Treatment Efforts at Holloman Air Force Base

Holloman Air Force Base has been actively engaged in water treatment efforts to address contamination by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are persistent environmental pollutants often linked to firefighting foams used at military installations. Historically, the base has detected elevated levels of PFAS in its water sources (60% of it from groundwater sources and 40% of it from surface water), prompting comprehensive remediation actions, and efforts are still ongoing. 

Health Risks and Symptoms Linked to Drinking Water at Holloman AFB

There are a number of associated risks with drinking contaminated water that residents of Holloman AFB could and have experienced. 

PFAS Exposure Has Been Linked to Various Health Conditions including:

  • Kidney Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Male Breast Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Liver 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

If you develop any symptoms after drinking toxic water, you should contact a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

Eligibility Criteria for Holloman AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

If you were diagnosed with a condition related to drinking contaminated water at Holloman AFB, you might be entitled to compensation. Our team can evaluate your individual situation which will help determine whether you should pursue legal action and how much your case may be worth.

  1. Duration of exposure: Duration of exposure is an important factor in toxic exposure and water contamination lawsuits. While toxic exposure is never good, toxic chemicals like PFAS tend to build up in the body. We are typically looking for at least six months of exposure to a toxic substance.
  2. Diagnosis

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

Thousands of legal claims are being filed across the country related to contaminated drinking water. It is believed that these cases, including those against manufacturers of PFAS-containing products, may result in multi-million dollar settlements.

In order to file a military water contamination lawsuit, you need to consult with an attorney. During your consultation, you will want to provide vital evidence, including your medical records, military directives, and discharge paperwork, if applicable.

The more information you can provide related to your condition and your service, the better. Water contamination lawsuits may take several months or longer to resolve. An attorney can help guide you through the process so you know what to anticipate.

Holloman AFB Water Contamination Settlement Amounts

Our firm expects that most settlements will be between $30,000 and $500,000. Case value is difficult to predict. We can look at prior lawsuits that involved cancer and see that many of those cases resolved in the $100,000 to $300,000 range. The average settlement amount could be around $250,000. People that were younger at the time of diagnosis might receive larger settlements. People that had an active illness longer or had more toxic exposure could also get higher settlement amounts. Some cases may be valued at or near one million dollars. More minor injuries or injuries with less proof of relationship to the toxic substances at Holloman AFB might also have lower settlement values, perhaps $30,000 to $75,000. Typically settlement values are lower than what someone might get if they went to trial. However, at trial there is always some risk of getting nothing.

How to File a Holloman AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

With help from King Law, the process of filing a Holloman AFB 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 Holloman AFB, 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 Holloman AFB.

Evidence to Support Your Holloman Air Force Base Claim

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

  • Proof of your time at Holloman AFB such as military directives, discharge paperwork, work records, etc. 
  • Evidence of exposure to a toxin at or from Holloman AFB, 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 Holloman AFB 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.

Holloman Air Force Base 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 Holloman AFB 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)

Is Holloman Air Force Base water safe to drink?
The latest report from the EWG states that Holloman Air Force Base’s tap water is safe to drink; however, the historical use of AFFF on the base suggests the drinking water could have been contaminated since the 1970s.
What are the toxins in Holloman Air Force Base?
The primary contaminants at Holloman Air Force Base are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), particularly from the use of fire-fighting foams​.
Is Holloman Air Force Base a Superfund site?
Holloman Air Force Base is listed as a Superfund site. However, it is undergoing investigations and cleanup under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act​.
What is the lawsuit on Holloman Air Force Base?
The state of New Mexico has filed lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Defense over PFAS contamination at Holloman Air Force Base, seeking to compel the military to address and mitigate the pollution.
What are the environmental issues in Holloman Air Force Base?
The key environmental issue is the contamination of groundwater with PFAS. There is also concern about the exposure risks to wildlife and humans through various environmental pathways, including sediment and air​.
What are the deadlines for filing a claim in the Holloman Air Force Base lawsuit?
Specific deadlines for filing claims would depend on the legal proceedings and individual circumstances. Affected individuals should consult with legal counsel to understand the timeline for their particular case.
What types of health problems are linked to the Holloman Air Force Base water contamination?
Health problems associated with PFAS exposure include cancer, liver damage, thyroid disease, decreased fertility, increased cholesterol levels, and immune system effects.
What evidence do I need for my claim in the Holloman Air Force Base lawsuit?
Evidence required may include medical records, proof of residency or employment at Holloman Air Force Base, and documentation of water usage or exposure to contaminated sources. Consulting a lawyer for specific requirements is advisable.
How long will the Holloman Air Force Base lawsuit process take?
The duration of the lawsuit process can vary widely, depending on the complexity of the case, the number of plaintiffs, and the legal proceedings involved. It can take several years for such environmental lawsuits to reach a conclusion.
What steps should I take if I was affected by the Holloman Air Force Base contamination?
Individuals should seek medical advice, document any health issues, gather evidence of exposure, and consult with an attorney experienced in environmental law to explore legal options​.
What is the average payout for the Holloman Air Force Base lawsuit?
The average payout is not specified as it would depend on the settlement reached and the specifics of each claimant’s situation. We believe most settlements will be between $50,000 and $500,000, with more minor injuries being lower and more serious illnesses being higher, perhaps over one million dollars.