Westfield suing companies over alleged contamination of water supply

These types of fire fighting foams were phased out years ago

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Westfield is seeking millions of dollars from companies that made the chemicals that allegedly contaminated their water.

Westfield this week filed a $50 million lawsuit again three manufacturers of firefighting foam that were once used at Barnes Air National Guard Base and the Municipal Airport.

After decades of use at Barnes Air Base, the City of Westfield believes chemicals from fire fighting foam have found their way into the water supply.

“We’ve had several notices come saying they’re above the recommended levels,” said Jason McLaughlin of Westfield. “I know sometimes the water tastes chlorinated. I have a ten month old at home. Little bit of concern there. Is it safe to be drinking that water? I don’t know.”

According to the Department of Environmental Protection, these chemicals could be related to kidney cancer, testicular cancer and developmental defects in fetuses.

Traditional filtration systems don’t remove these chemicals.

Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan said the city will have a new, and costly filtration system in place by the end of this year.

“Right now, our estimate is in the five to six million dollar range,” Mayor Sullivan told 22News. “It’s very important to us, because quite honestly we don’t have the finances to clean the water that shouldn’t have been polluted* in the first place. So you go after the people we feel are responsible.”

These types of fire fighting foams were phased out years ago.

Mayor Sullivan said the city will monitor any long-term health effects caused by the chemicals.