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

Pope Air Force Base was established in North Carolina in 1918 as an airfield for Camp Bragg. It was known as Pope Field until 1947 when the United States Air Force was created. The airfield expanded in the 1930s to support conflict in Europe and Asia. Its population grew substantially during World War II and served as a training center for a variety of military divisions. After the Cold War, many resources were relocated to other bases, and Pope AFB was deactivated in 2011. Its name went back to Pope Field and it was transferred to Fort Bragg

Pope Air Force Base is one of many military bases that has been impacted by contaminated drinking water. The use of products containing harmful chemicals, like firefighting foam, released toxins into groundwater. Those who consume toxic water are at risk of serious illnesses such as testicular cancer, bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer, and kidney cancer. If you’ve been impacted by contaminated water at Pope AFB, you could be entitled to financial compensation through a lawsuit.

Pope Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawsuit Updates

June 2024 – King Law Accepting Pope AFB Water Contamination Claims 

King Law is reviewing claims associated with contaminated drinking water at Pope Air Force Base. We can offer a no-obligation, free consultation to confirm your eligibility and discuss your legal options. Keep in mind that you must have a diagnosis related to drinking toxic water at the military base. 

April 2024 – Government Establishes First Enforceable Limits for PFAS In Water

One of the main contaminants impacting drinking water at American military bases is PFAS. PFAS represents a group of manmade chemicals found in firefighting foam. When firefighting foam is sprayed on the ground or spilled, it can impact groundwater and drinking water. Individuals who consume water that has PFAS are at risk of a range of life-threatening health conditions, including cancer. 

Until recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had only established a lifetime health advisory (LHA) for PFAS of 70 ppt. It then issued an interim updated health advisory for two types of PFAS: 0.004 ppt for PFOA and 0.02 ppt for PFOA, which were substantially lower than 70 ppt. In April 2024, the Biden Administration set the first enforceable PFAS limits: 4 ppt for PFOA and 4 ppt for PFOS.

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History of Toxic Exposure at Pope Air Force Base

Pope Air Force Base has a long history of PFAS contamination

  • 2000: A Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) was conducted when total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) were found in Pope AFB drinking water. 
  • 2007: An EPA study finds high concentrations of PFAS near Pope Field, prevalent throughout the Cape Fear River basin that could have traveled downstream from an industrial plant that manufactured PFAS products. 
  • 2016: A Site Inspection was conducted to identify potential soil contamination from explosives and ammunition. While results didn’t raise concerns about explosives, high levels of lead posed a risk to humans and the environment. 
  • 2019: According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), testing from 2013-2019 identified seven different types of water in the water distribution system for Fort Bragg, inclusive of Pope Field. In total, PFAS levels reached a maximum level of 84.1 ppt. 
  • 2020: The Pentagon shared more information about contaminated drinking water at multiple military bases, including Fort Bragg, the site of Pope Field. 
  • 2022: Fort Bragg, where Pope Field is now located, had PFAS levels as high as 98 ppt during water sampling.
  • 2023: Remedial Investigations are still underway at Fort Bragg, including the portion designated to Pope Field.

Pope Air Force Base Water Contamination Map

Pope Air Force Base is located in the middle western portion of Fort Bragg against the border. It’s positioned in close proximity to Cape Fear River, which stretches vertically across the Fort Bragg base, and Little River crosses through Pope AFB. A PFAS manufacturing plant was located just south of Fayetteville, which is below Pope AFB. Unfortunately, PFAS has spread because of Cape Fear River contamination. 

Contaminants Found in Pope Air Force Base Drinking Water

Pope AFB is located in Cumberland County, which is supplied water by the Fayetteville Public Works Commission. According to the EWG Tap Water database, this utility has identified the following contaminants that exceeded EWG Health Guidelines: 

  • Dioxane
  • Bromodichloromethane
  • Bromoform
  • Chloroform
  • Chromium
  • Dibromoacetic acid
  • Dibromochloromethane
  • Dichloroacetic acid
  • Haloacetic acids 
  • Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHPA)
  • Perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS)
  • Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)
  • Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
  • Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
  • Trichloroacetic acid 

Many of these chemicals are linked to cancer risk, especially in high amounts. 

Per- and Poly-Fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of chemicals including PFHPA, PFHxS, PFOS, and PFOA, all of which have been identified by Cumberland County’s water utility. PFAS has been prevalent at military bases because of the use of firefighting foam to put out fires during training activities and if there is an event such as a crash or equipment damage that causes a fire. PFAS is linked to the following health conditions: 

  • 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

The dangers of PFAS increase with continued exposure. These chemicals build up in the body and do not break down, which is why they are called “forever chemicals.” 

Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) are byproducts of chlorine, which are used to disinfect drinking water before it enters your home. There are multiple types of TTHMs that are often found in water. Exposure to high amounts of TTHMs is linked to bladder cancer, colon cancer, reproductive issues, and birth defects.

Current Water Quality at Pope Air Force Base

November 2023 sampling at Fort Bragg, where Pope AFB is located, indicated 8.9 ppt of PFOA and PFOS in finished drinking water. This is over the enforceable PFAS limits established in April 2024. Dangerous levels of PFAS at Pope AFB have posed a risk to those living and working on or near the base for years. Higher amounts of PFAS and longer-term exposure increases health risks for those at the base. 

Water Treatment Efforts at Pope Air Force Base

Pope Air Force Base has conducted inspections to understand the presence of toxins like TTHMs and lead in soil in years past. Now that the airfield is located at Fort Bragg, it is subject to Fort Bragg’s water treatment efforts. Remedial Investigations are currently underway at Fort Bragg to understand the extent of PFAS contamination and the need for remediation.

Health Risks Linked to Drinking Water at Pope AFB

At King Law, we are reviewing claims that involve water contamination and diagnosis of the following illnesses: 

Let your doctor know if you’ve been exposed to contaminated water and seek care if you experience any adverse health effects. If you are diagnosed with one of the conditions listed above, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for lost wages and medical bills.

Eligibility Criteria for Pope AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

To be eligible for a Pope Air Force Base water contamination claim, you’ll need to meet the following conditions: 

  1. You were exposed to a toxin in Pope AFB drinking water for at least six months. 
  2. You were diagnosed with an illness 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

Speak with an attorney who has experience with environmental law to confirm your eligibility. At King Law, we will review your case and help you discover your legal options and how to take initial steps.

Pope AFB Water Contamination Settlement Amounts

We anticipate Pope AFB water contamination lawsuits to settle at $30,000-$500,000 with an average settlement amount of $250,000. 

How much you could receive will vary based on the strength and details of your case. Weaker cases, such as those with limited evidence, may resolve around $30,000-$75,000. Stronger cases, such as those with substantial evidence and a severe diagnosis, may resolve higher, toward $1,000,000. Rest assured King Law will fight for the full payout you deserve.

How to File a Pope AFB Water Contamination Lawsuit

Consider the following steps to file a Pope AFB water contamination claim: 

  1. Schedule a consultation with an attorney to confirm your eligibility and better understand your legal options. 
  2. Gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim. 
  3. Your attorney will build your case and file it on your behalf with the appropriate court. 
  4. If you have a legitimate claim, you could be posed with a settlement or court verdict. Many water contamination victims choose to settle, in which case your attorney can negotiate on your behalf. If you choose to seek a jury verdict, you risk walking away with no compensation and the process can take longer.
  5. Successful claims will provide compensation that can be used to help pay for medical bills, make up for lost income, and address other damages you’ve experienced from wrongful exposure. 

Evidence to Support Your Pope Air Force Base Claim

Evidence to support your Pope AFB claim can include: 

  • Proof of your diagnosis, which can include medical records and treatment plans
  • Proof of your time at Pope AFB, which could be military directives or discharge paperwork 
  • Proof of toxic exposure at the base, which could include press releases or water quality reports 
  • Additional evidence and testimonies connecting your exposure to your illness 
  • Additional evidence of the damages you’ve suffered

Statute of Limitations for Pope AFB Water Contamination Claims

There are statutes of limitations for both personal injury and wrongful death claims. Statutes define when you must file a lawsuit with deadlines that vary by state. Make sure you file a claim as soon as possible to avoid missing your opportunity for justice and compensation. 

Pope Air Force Base Water Contamination Lawyers

If you’re looking to file a water contamination claim, it can be in your best interest to choose a lawyer with experience in toxic torts. King Law has this experience, which enables us to build strong cases and fight confidently for the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and we will support and guide you throughout the entire process from start to finish. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Learn more about Pope AFB water contamination claims by reviewing answers to the following common questions. 

Is Pope Air Force Base water safe to drink?
Water at Fort Bragg, where Pope AFB is located, continues to test positive for PFAS which can be dangerous and linked to cancer.
What are the toxins in Pope Air Force Base?
Pope Air Force Base has struggled with PFAS and TTHMs in drinking water from the use of firefighting foam and water disinfectants.
Is Pope Air Force Base a Superfund site?
Pope Air Force Base is a Superfund site but is not on the EPA’s National Priorities List (NPL).
What is the lawsuit about Pope Air Force Base?
Victims of toxic drinking water at Pope AFB who were diagnosed with a serious health condition are now filing lawsuits against chemical manufacturers as a result of their exposure.
What are the environmental issues at Pope Air Force Base?
Contaminated water at military bases like Pope AFB poses a serious risk to humans and the environment, especially in high amounts and long durations.
What are the deadlines to file a Pope Air Force Base lawsuit?
Statute of limitations vary by state and the circumstances of your case. Contact an attorney immediately to understand your filing deadlines.
What health conditions are associated with Pope Air Force Base water contamination?
Individuals who consume contaminated water from Pope AFB could be at risk of illnesses like bladder cancer, testicular cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, ulcerative colitis, and a series of other health conditions.
What evidence do I need for my Pope Air Force Base lawsuit?
To file a Pope AFB water contamination claim you need proof of at least six months of toxic exposure, proof of a related diagnosis, and other details that prove damages from toxic water at the base.
How long will the Pope Air Force Base lawsuit process take?
Water contamination claims can take several months or longer to resolve, so contact an attorney as soon as possible to file a Pope Air Force Base lawsuit.
What steps should I take if I was affected by the Pope Air Force Base contamination?
Seek medical care as soon as possible when you develop negative symptoms of drinking toxic water. To pursue legal action, schedule a consultation with King Law.
What is the average payout for the Pope Air Force Base lawsuit or settlement?
Pope AFB water contamination lawsuits could resolve with an average settlement amount of $250,000. Payouts could be higher or lower depending on the strength of your case.
Is PFAS in Pope Air Force Base water?
Yes, PFAS has been found in Pope AFB water.
What steps has Pope Air Force Base taken to address the PFAS contamination?
Pope Air Force Base is now located within Fort Bragg where there is ongoing sampling and investigations into the need for PFAS remediation.
What are the main contaminants found in Pope Air Force Base's drinking water?
Some of the main contaminants in Pope AFB drinking water include PFAS and TTHMs.
Who is eligible for the Pope Air Force Base water contamination lawsuit?
You could be eligible for a Pope AFB water contamination lawsuit if you were exposed to a toxin like PFAS for at least six months and developed a related illness.
How can individuals affected by the Pope Air Force Base water contamination file a lawsuit?
To file a Pope Air Force Base water contamination lawsuit, you can contact King Law to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We will guide you through the entire process.