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

The Luke AFB water contamination lawsuit addresses the discovery of toxic substances (mainly PFAS or “forever chemicals”) in the water supply at Luke Air Force Base. Military personnel, their families and partners, and civilian workers who spent significant time at the base in Arizona have reported severe health issues, including cancer. The lawsuit seeks compensation for all affected individuals.

Luke Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawsuit Overview

Located in Glendale, Arizona, Luke Air Force Base (AFB) was established in 1941 and has been crucial in the training efforts of the U.S. Air Force. Named after World War I fighter pilot Frank Luke Jr. (nicknamed “Arizona Balloon Buster”), the base has a rich history and has played a vital role in multiple military operations.

However, Luke AFB has also faced significant environmental challenges and scrutiny in the media. Training activities at the base, particularly firefighter training that involved the use of AFFF and other chemicals, have led to contamination of the local water supply. These contaminants include per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), waste oils and other hazardous chemicals.

Luke Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawsuit Updates

July 4, 2024 – The judge overseeing the AFFF firefighting foam lawsuit (which deals with PFAS water contaminations) scheduled key expert disclosures for October 2024 and March 2025. This new timeline increases the likelihood of settlements due to the imminent threat of trials, with a final resolution expected within the next year.

May 16, 2024 – Single-day test samples collected this in winter 2024 (one in December and one in early January) found that the area’s drinking water, which serves nearly 9,000 people, still contained PFAS.

The results of the single-day tests suggest that the Air Force has more work to do.

January 8, 2024 – Luke Air Force Base is investigating PFAS water contamination beyond the base’s immediate area.

On this page:

History of Toxic Exposure at Luke Air Force Base

Environmental issues at Luke AFB date back to the base’s early years. Extensive training activities led to significant soil and groundwater contamination. The use of AFFF firefighting foam, containing PFAS, has been a major contributor to this contamination.

PFAS are persistent chemicals known for essentially not breaking down in the environment. These substances have been used extensively in firefighting foams at airports and military bases, including Luke AFB, and have leached into the groundwater over time, posing serious risks to those exposed.

Additionally, general waste at Luke AFB was burned during fire training, disposed of in shallow trenches or on roads for dust suppression and more recently stored in underground tanks. These suboptimal disposal methods have contributed to site contamination.

Luke Air Force Base Water Contamination Map

This map shows the spread of the PFAS plume from Luke AFB into surrounding areas.  

Luke Air Force Base Drinking Water Contaminants

Testing has identified several dangerous substances in Luke AFB’s water supply, including:

  • PFAS: Chemicals linked to cancer, immune system failure and developmental issues. Dubbed “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the human body or the environment.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Including 1,4-dioxane, benzene and trichloroethylene (TCE), these can cause cancer, liver failure, and serious respiratory problems.
  • Waste oils: Waste oils are any petroleum-based or synthetic oils that, due to contamination, have become impure and therefore unsuitable for their intended use. They can contain lead and benzene and are harmful to human health. Exposure to waste oils has been linked to lipid pneumonia, lung granulomas, eczema, contact dermatitis, folliculitis, oil acne and melanosis.

Current Water Quality at Luke Air Force Base

Recent tests suggest that significant improvements have been made in the water quality at Luke AFB. Remediation efforts that took place in the 90’s reduced the concentration of harmful substances. It is believed that the water at Luke AFB poses no immediate risks to humans, however, the tests conducted in the winter of 2024 found that PFAS still remain in the water supply. 

Water Treatment Efforts at Luke AFB

In August 1981, the Air Force began an environmental investigation into Luke AFB to review hazardous substance handling and disposal practices and address any threats to public health. From 1981 to 1990, they reviewed records, contacted government agencies and conducted site tests, revealing various levels of soil and water contamination. 

The EPA placed Luke AFB on the National Priorities List (NPL) in August 1990. It is a Superfund site.

This led to a comprehensive investigation by the Air Force, EPA, ATSDR and other agencies. Site assessments were conducted from March 1991 to July 1993, identifying 32 IRP sites categorized into two operable units (OUs): OU-1 (contamination in air, water, and soil) and OU-2 (soil contamination from petroleum, oil and lubricants).

However, in February 1996, the EPA and ADEQ found the OU-1 RI and OU-2 ROD unsatisfactory due to lab errors. Additional sampling was conducted in 1996, and a final RI and Baseline Risk Assessment (BRA) report was submitted and accepted by ADEQ in October 1997.

ATSDR revisited Luke AFB in December 1997, confirming the absence of immediate public health hazards.

The water at the base now undergoes arsenic filtration followed by chlorine treatment for further disinfection. Additionally, according to the base’s annual water quality report, Luke AFB receives water from three external providers: Valley Utilities, Liberty Utilities and EPCOR Utilities-Agua Fria.

Health Risks and Symptoms Linked to Drinking Water at Luke AFB

Exposure to contaminated water at Luke AFB has been linked to serious health risks. Specific health risks linked to PFAS, waste oils and VOCs in water include the following:

PFAS Exposure:

  • Increased risk of kidney, liver, blood and thyroid cancers.
  • Ulcerative colitis and IBD. Changes in bowel habits. 
  • Elevated cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.
  • Pregnancy and developmental complications.
  • Impaired immune function.

VOC Exposure:

  • Increased risk of liver and kidney disease.
  • Damage to the central nervous system.
  • Respiratory diseases.
  • Development of cancers, in particular, leukemia.
  • Adverse effects on the reproductive system.
  • Allergies and skin rashes.

Waste Oil Exposure:

  • Eczema, dermatitis and other skin diseases. 
  • Increased risk of cancer. 
  • Reproductive problems. 
  • Decreased immunity.

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

Let your doctor know about any known toxic exposure and seek care as soon as you develop any negative side effects. If you are diagnosed with a serious illness and are interested in knowing your legal options, schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. If you decide to file a claim, there are deadlines you must file to maintain your eligibility. 

Eligibility Criteria for Luke AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

To qualify for the Luke AFB water contamination lawsuit, individuals must demonstrate long-term exposure to the contaminated water at the base. This typically requires proof of being stationed at or living near the base for six months or more. Additionally, medical records linking health conditions to the contaminants found at Luke AFB are necessary.

King Law is currently representing individuals 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

At King Law, we can help determine your eligibility and identify what pieces of evidence you need to solidify your right to file a claim.

Luke AFB Water Contamination Settlement Amounts

Settlement amounts for the Luke AFB water contamination lawsuit and similar cases vary greatly based on the severity of the health impact and the duration of exposure. They are difficult to predict. There is always a risk of not receiving any compensation. 

However, based on our past cases, settlements usually range between $30,000 to $500,000, with some cases potentially exceeding these amounts. Victims can expect compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of opportunity, loss of consortium and legal expenses.

How to File a Luke AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

Before filing a lawsuit, affected individuals and their loved ones are advised to consult with an experienced attorney specializing in environmental law and specifically water contamination cases. 

Supporting documentation that will be required includes medical records, proof of residency and/or employment at Luke AFB and evidence of health issues linked to the contaminants. Your lawyer will guide you through the process, from initial consultation to gathering evidence to filing the claim and pursuing fair compensation.

Contact King Law for a free case evaluation, and we will guide you through the lawsuit process.

Evidence to Support Your Claim

Evidence for a Luke AFB water contamination claim includes medical diagnoses, proof of treatment, if available, water testing results and military service records. 

Documentation of symptoms, treatments, loss of employment, and any related expenses can also strengthen the case. 

Statute of Limitations for Luke AFB Water Contamination Claims

The statute of limitations for filing a Luke AFB water contamination claim varies by state but generally ranges from two to four years from the date of diagnosis. It is essential to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure compliance with the deadlines and preserve your right to seek compensation.

Luke Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawyers

Hiring a specialized lawyer is crucial for navigating the complex legal landscape of the Luke AFB water contamination lawsuit. At King Law, our team has decades of expertise in handling similar cases. If you have been affected by water contamination, get in touch and we will establish if you qualify for a lawsuit. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Luke AFB water safe to drink?
Official sources claim that the Luke AFB water meets safety standards. However, as is always the case with military water contamination, continuous monitoring is required to ensure ongoing safety. Recent tests confirmed the presence of PFAS in the water supply.
What are the toxins found at Luke AFB?
Key toxins discovered at the base include PFAS, VOC and waste oils (that contain lead), which pose significant health risks to people who come in contact with them.
Is Luke AFB a Superfund site?
Yes, Luke AFB has been designated a Superfund site by the EPA.
What is the lawsuit on Luke AFB?
The lawsuit seeks compensation for health conditions linked to toxic exposure from contaminated drinking water at Luke AFB. Those affected are mainly military personnel and their families, who also lived on or near to the base.
What are the environmental issues at Luke AFB?
Environmental issues at Luke include soil and water contamination from firefighter training, and improper waste disposal practices.
What are the deadlines for filing a claim in the Luke AFB lawsuit?
Deadlines vary by state but generally range from two to four years from the date you received your diagnosis.
What types of health problems are linked to the Luke AFB water contamination?
Linked health problems include various cancer types (e.g., liver, kidney, bladder, breast, leukemia), kidney failure, liver damage, allergies, pregnancy and developmental complications and respiratory diseases.
What evidence do I need for my claim in the Luke AFB lawsuit?
Required evidence includes medical records, proof of residency or employment at Luke AFB and potentially expert testimonies linking the health conditions to contaminants at the base.
How long will the Luke AFB lawsuit process take?
The lawsuit process can be lengthy, potentially taking up to several years. Sometimes they get resolved within a year. Contact a lawyer to find out what a realistic timeframe for your case is.