A lawsuit filed last month by the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority accuses firefighting foam manufacturers of negligence in selling a product that has contaminated local airports with harmful chemicals.
The lawsuit alleges the compounds “are present in certain areas of” Tampa International Airport, Peter O. Knight Airport, Tampa Executive Airport and Plant City Airport. They are commonly called “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down well and may taint the groundwater and soil, accumulating over time and sickening people who ingest them.
A spokeswoman for the Aviation Authority declined to answer questions about where specifically the chemicals have been found or at what levels.
“Because of pending litigation, we cannot comment on specifics of the case or speculation of damages,” wrote spokeswoman Emily Nipps. “The lawsuit is a proactive step by the Authority to recover potential costs associated with any future mitigation or remediation as a result of commercial airports, including (Tampa International Airport), using this (Federal Aviation Administration)-mandated chemical in its firefighting methods.”
The lawsuit asks for money from the manufacturers to pay for investigating, fixing and monitoring the “ongoing contamination” of its “surface, surface water, groundwater, soil and sediment.”