Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Mike Stag, Esq.
The McClellan AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit is an active lawsuit
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McClellan Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawsuit Overview

McClellan AFB, established in 1935 near Sacramento, California, served as a major repair depot and logistics center for the United States Air Force until its closure in 2001. It now houses 240 businesses as a mixed-use business park with huge potential for PFAS exposure to an average of 13,000 employees and visitors to severe ongoing environmental issues related to water contamination. 

The primary contaminants discovered at McClellan AFB are Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), which were used in aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) for firefighting training and emergency response. PFAS chemicals (also known as ‘forever chemicals’) have found their way into groundwater, affecting both the base and the local area. With this ongoing problem long-term former residents and individuals in the community have complained about the contamination and reported serious health issues, including various cancers and thyroid diseases.

McClellan Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawsuit Updates


King Law has been representing claimants in environmental exposure lawsuits for years. And now, we are reviewing cases associated specifically with water contamination at McClellan 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. 

MARCH 2023 – Lawsuits filed by affected residents claim damages for health issues linked to PFAS exposure.

JUNE 2022 – Extensive groundwater testing reveals high levels of PFAS in multiple locations within and around the base, including soil contaminated by releases of industrial solvents, radium paint, combustion waste product, pesticides, toxic metals, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

AUGUST 2021 –  EPA includes McClellan AFB in its list of sites requiring detailed study and remediation efforts due to PFAS contamination.

DECEMBER 2018 – More than 350 locations were found to have high traces of PFAS chemicals.


Problems with PFAS have been ongoing at McClellan AFB for the past 40 YEARS.

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History of Toxic Exposure at McClellan Air Force Base

McClellan AFB in Sacramento, California, has a long history of contamination issues dating back to its operational years (1936-2001). The use of PFAS-containing firefighting foam, along with other industrial activities, led to the contamination of soil and groundwater. Studies conducted in the early 2000s identified various contaminants, including solvents, heavy metals, and PFAS, significantly affecting the base’s environmental health.

McClellan Air Force Base Water Contamination Map

The above map showcases the extent of water contamination at McClellan 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 McClellan AFB boundaries, contaminating the community’s drinking supply.

Contaminants Found in McClellan Air Force Base Drinking Water

PFAS contamination is the primary concern at McClellan AFB. These chemicals, known for their persistence and bioaccumulation, pose significant health risks. PFAS have been linked to various cancers, thyroid disease, and other serious health conditions. Groundwater testing has also detected solvents and heavy metals, further complicating the environmental impact.

Specific chemicals of concern include the following:

  • RADIUM: Often used as a source for radiotherapy, radium is a chemical element found present in toxic waste that can have life-changing effects like cracked teeth, cancer and anemia.
  • Other solvents like TCE (trichloroethylene) have been reported to increase the risk of lymphoma related cancers.

Current Water Quality at McClellan Air Force Base

Recent water quality reports indicate that PFAS levels in the groundwater at McClellan AFB exceed EPA health advisory limits. Continuous monitoring and testing are conducted to assess the extent of contamination and ensure that affected communities receive safe drinking water.

Water Treatment Efforts at McClellan Air Force Base

Efforts to address water contamination at McClellan AFB include the installation of filtration systems to remove PFAS from drinking water. The Air Force, along with the EPA, is implementing a comprehensive remediation plan that involves soil excavation, groundwater treatment, and regular monitoring to ensure the safety of the water supply.

Health Risks and Symptoms Linked to Drinking Water at McClellan AFB

Long-term exposure to PFAS-contaminated water at McClellan AFB has been associated with numerous health issues, including kidney cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid disorders, and developmental effects in children. Medical studies and case reports emphasize the importance of regular health check-ups and screenings for those exposed to contaminated water.

Eligibility Criteria for McClellan AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

If you were diagnosed with a condition related to drinking contaminated water at McClellan 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:

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.

McClellan AFB Water Contamination Settlement Amounts

Settlement amounts in McClellan AFB contamination lawsuits are influenced by factors such as the extent of exposure, the severity of health impacts, and the duration of residence or service at the base. Historical precedents suggest possible compensation ranges between $30,000 and $500,000, with some cases potentially reaching higher amounts.

How to File a McClellan AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

Filing a contamination lawsuit involves several steps, including gathering evidence, consulting with specialized attorneys, and submitting a claim. Key documents required include medical records, military orders, and proof of residence. Legal guidance is crucial for navigating the complexities of the lawsuit process.

With King Law’s assistance, the process of filing a water contamination lawsuit related to McClellan AFB can be straightforward. Here’s how it typically works:

  1. Reach out to us by phone, email, or in person. During this session, we’ll assess your case details, verify your eligibility, address any questions, and start the legal process.
  2. Collect all relevant documentation to support your claim. This should include evidence of your time at McClellan AFB, exposure to toxins like PFAS, specifics about the duration and extent of exposure, a related medical diagnosis, and details regarding your prognosis and treatment costs.
  3. We will prepare and submit your contamination complaint for you. This document will present the specifics of your case to the appropriate court and identify those responsible for your toxic exposure.
  4. We will assist in negotiating a settlement or advise you on whether to proceed to trial. With our extensive experience in such cases, we can provide guidance on the best course of action for your situation.
  5. We will help you recover damages. Many of these cases conclude with a settlement, ideally providing compensation to cover lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses resulting from your wrongful exposure at McClellan AFB.

Statute of Limitations for McClellan AFB Water Contamination Claims

The deadline for filing contamination claims depends on the state and the specific details of the case. Consulting with an attorney is crucial to understand these time limits and ensure you file promptly to be eligible for compensation.

In California, the timelines for reporting contamination from PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) chemicals, particularly in terms of filing a lawsuit, are influenced by various factors such as the discovery rule and specific state laws. Here are some key points:

Statute of Limitations: In California, the general statute of limitations for personal injury cases, which can include exposure to harmful chemicals like PFAS, is typically two years from the date the injury was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.

Discovery Rule: This rule can extend the filing deadline. If the harm caused by PFAS exposure was not immediately apparent, the two-year period may start from the date you became aware of the injury and its link to PFAS exposure.

Environmental Lawsuits: For environmental contamination cases, there might be additional considerations under specific environmental regulations and statutes. For example, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) has a separate statute of limitations that can affect the timing of lawsuits related to hazardous substance releases.

Governmental Notifications: There may be requirements to report PFAS contamination to state or local environmental agencies within specific timeframes, especially if the contamination affects public health or the environment.

Consultation with an Attorney: Given the complexities of these timelines and potential exceptions, it’s essential to consult with an attorney who specializes in environmental law or toxic torts to get precise guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.

To ensure compliance and maximize the chances of a successful claim, it is crucial to seek legal advice as soon as you suspect PFAS contamination.

McClellan Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawyers

King Law attorneys are experts in environmental and military-related cases, particularly those involving PFAS contamination. Their expertise in evaluating claims, preparing necessary documents, and providing legal representation is critical for individuals seeking justice and compensation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is the water at McClellan Air Force Base safe to drink?
No, recent tests indicate that PFAS levels are above the safe threshold.
What contaminants are present at McClellan Air Force Base?
The site contains PFAS, solvents, and heavy metals.
Has McClellan Air Force Base been classified as a Superfund site?
Yes, it has been declared a Superfund site due to significant contamination issues.
What is the nature of the lawsuit involving McClellan Air Force Base?
Residents affected by PFAS exposure are pursuing legal action for health-related damages.
When is the deadline to file a claim for the McClellan Air Force Base lawsuit?
Filing deadlines vary based on legal proceedings and individual cases. Consult with a lawyer to understand your specific timeframe.
What health issues are linked to the contaminated water at McClellan Air Force Base?
PFAS exposure is associated with cancer, liver damage, thyroid disease, reduced fertility, higher cholesterol levels, and immune system problems.
What kind of evidence is necessary for a claim in the McClellan Air Force Base lawsuit?
Required evidence might include medical records, proof of living or working at the base, and documentation of water exposure. Legal consultation is recommended for detailed requirements.
How long might the McClellan Air Force Base lawsuit take to resolve?
The lawsuit duration can vary, often taking several years due to the complexity and number of plaintiffs involved.
What actions should I take if I have been affected by the contamination at McClellan Air Force Base?
Seek medical attention, document health problems, collect evidence of exposure, and consult with an environmental lawyer to discuss your legal options.
What is the typical compensation for claims in the McClellan Air Force Base lawsuit?
Payouts can vary widely, but most settlements range from $50,000 to $500,000, with more severe cases potentially exceeding one million dollars.