Which are the most contaminated military bases?

Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake is the most contaminated military base in the country. The groundwater on the site was last tested in 2017 and showed a PFOS and PFOA level of 8,000,000 ppt. While the Environmental Protection Agency has stated that there are no known “safe exposure limits” to PFAS, the current guidelines are 4 ppt for PFOS and PFOA, two of the most notorious chemicals under the PFAS umbrella. This maximum detection level of PFAS means that the groundwater on the base exceeds the guidelines by 2 million times.

There are 710 military bases with known toxic environmental contamination nationwide

Most contaminated military base

While nearly all military bases in the United States have a history of PFAS contamination, some are incredibly polluted with these dangerous chemicals. And from data, we know that the PFAS contamination lasts long after the military has moved out from the area.

Though NAWS China Lake has an excessive amount of PFAS in its groundwater, there are other decommissioned military installations with even worse levels.

England Air Force Base, a former air force base located near Alexandria, Louisiana that was closed in 1992, is currently the most contaminated former or current military site in the country. Its groundwater levels were last tested in 2016 and showed a PFAS level of 20,700,000 ppt. The following are military-affiliated sites (both former and active bases) where environmental contamination is the worst.

To understand how acute the issue of PFAS contamination is, keep in mind that the highest levels allowed in our ground and drinking water is set at 4 ppt because it is the lowest number scientists can detect. The EPA states that the number should be as close to zero as possible.

The Environmental Protection Agency states that the number should be as close to zero as possible.

  • England Air Force Base (Louisiana): 20,700,000 ppt — closed in 1992
  • Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake (California): 8,000,000 ppt
  • Patrick Air Force Base (Florida): 4,338,000 ppt
  • Myrtle Beach Air Force Base (South Carolina): 2,640,000 ppt — closed in 1993
  • Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (Hawaii): 2,620,000 ppt
  • Langley Air Force Base (Virginia): 2,225,000 ppt
  • Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield (Georgia): 2,100,000 ppt
  • Naval Air Station Jacksonville (Florida): 1,397,120 ppt
  • Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (New York): 1,310,000 ppt
  • Grand Prairie Armed Forces Reserve Complex (Texas): 1,247,000 — closed in 1998
  • Altus Air Force Base (Oklahoma): 1,150,000 ppt
  • Charleston Air Force Base (South Carolina): 1,150,000 ppt
  • Barksdale Air Force Base (Louisiana): 1,100,000 ppt
  • Naval Base Ventura County (California): 1,080,000 ppt
  • Plattsburgh Air Force Base (New York): 1,045,000 ppt — closed in 1995

The contamination in each of these bases is acute, but despite extreme levels of PFAS, the majority of the areas around these bases are not yet on the Superfund. The Superfund is a list of contaminated locations across the country that the Environmental Protection Agency has identified and prioritized for cleanup with EPA financing.

If you were stationed at any of these military bases, you were unwittingly exposed to PFAS and perhaps other toxic chemicals. Veterans who developed a disease as a result of military toxic exposure might be eligible to file a claim, so we encourage them to get in touch with our skilled attorneys. We can help veterans obtain compensation for toxic exposure at military bases and also VA disability compensation.

Quality legal assistance for veterans with a disease caused by military toxic exposure

For over 30 years, we have been pursuing compensation for toxic exposure victims, and many of our clients are veterans. If you spent at least one year at one or more contaminated military bases and now struggle with a disease, we strongly encourage you to contact us. All we will request are your military records, which you must retrieve, and your medical records stating your diagnosis.

Once we deem you eligible, we will promptly begin working on your claim and prepare it for submission. If you feel too ill to participate in the legal process, a family member can step in and help you. Moreover, our compassionate team will do all in its power to make navigating it as easy as possible for you, as we understand how difficult suffering from a disease is.

Other related questions

See more questions