More than 1,350 residents have filed formal claims
Over the past year, more than 1,350 residents of Tucson, Ariz., have filed formal claims with the U.S. Air Force regarding illnesses caused by pollution left behind from its plants and other industries.
Some complaints even cited the pollution as having caused cancer, with at least half a dozen complaints citing contaminated drinking water as the cause for the illness. Such complaints could potentially lead to lawsuits.
The Air Force has given no comment on the matter at this time, and has been discarding solvents and various industrial wastes near Tucson International Airport for 70 years. Since that time, it took officials 35 years to first discover trichloroethylene in the groundwater on the south side of the city.
Previous lawsuits also ran their course, including a massive agreement made 27 years ago that included a price tag of over $100 million paid by companies and government agencies after many residents claimed they were made sick from the water.
The persistence of illness potentially caused by polluted water is troubling then, but Tucson Water officials claim that wells contaminated with trichloroethylene have not provided water for residents since they were closed in the 1980s, but this has been met with skepticism from the public.