Situated on the western outskirts of Cheyenne, in Southeast Wyoming, about nine miles north of the Colorado border and directly off Interstate-25, Francis E. Warren Air Force Base is an essential component of the Air Force's "northern tier" for missile defense. It is also the oldest continually operating installation in the United States Air Force. Francis E. Warren Air Force Base is home to approximately 3,300 airmen and their families who support the 90th Missile Wing.
It has been on the EPA's list of Superfund sites for years as the agency works to clean up hundreds of cancer-causing chemicals discovered in groundwater and soil. It was also recently identified by the Defense Department as one of the sites where groundwater has been found to have PFOS or PFOA compounds - chemicals used in firefighting foam that have also been linked to cancers and birth abnormalities.
Francis E. Warren Air Force Base is a strategic missile base that operates and maintains intercontinental ballistic missiles such as the Minuteman III. It was formerly home to Minuteman I, Peacekeeper, and Atlas missile activities. Established in 1867, Francis E. Warren Air Force Base was originally built as an Army installation before being converted into an Air Force station eight decades later.
In its present configuration, the facility is home to the 90th Missile Wing, which is responsible for a range of tactical missile missions. Francis E. Warren Air Force Base provides support to the Department of Defense personnel, including active duty Air Force, Navy Reserve, Army Guard, and Air National Guard members, as well as their families.
The facility is divided into ten sections, which the EPA refers to as operable units. Three landfills, two fire-protection training grounds, six spill sites, base-wide groundwater, a firing range, a battery-acid disposal site, and an open burning detonation area are among these operational units. Due to previous activities and disposal methods, PFAS substances were released into the land and groundwater around the base and in some neighboring residences.
Unfortunately, the PFAS chemicals emitted by AFFF usage are not the only hazardous pollutants contaminating Francis E. Warren Air Force Base. The Environmental Protection Agency has discovered a number of additional potentially dangerous chemicals, including the ones listed below:
Long-term solutions at the site include groundwater monitoring, in-place chemical treatment of groundwater, landfill covers, landfill gas venting systems, the removal of locally concentrated waste regions, and institutional controls. Pump and treat systems were formerly used by the Air Force to clean up groundwater in certain locations. The cleaning of the firing range started in 2013. To address urgent risks to human health and the environment, site cleaning has also included interim response measures, often known as short-term clean-ups.
According to the American Cancer Society, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PFAS may be associated with cancer. As a result, the chemicals in the PFAS group have been categorized as "emerging contaminants" which means they may be harmful to a person's health if exposed to them over an extended period of time.
Long-term exposure to high concentrations of PFOA/PFOS produces a buildup of the chemicals in the body. This accumulation may have severe health consequences, such as:
The AFFF manufacturers reportedly knew about the harmful health consequences of PFAS exposure for a long time. Despite this knowledge, they placed profits above customer safety, not only withholding the knowledge that this kind of firefighting foam was hazardous to people exposed to it, but also going to considerable efforts to keep this information concealed.
Were you regularly exposed to PFAS-containing foam and diagnosed with a linkable disease? If so, kindly contact us immediately. We are here to fully understand the nature of your situation and provide you with the assistance you need. Although we cannot undo the effects of the exposure, we can help you seek compensation for your injuries, anguish, and suffering.
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