Military bases’ contamination will affect water for generations

photo: Victorville, California - Military bases' contamination will affect water for generations

For decades, day-to-day military operations have contaminated the water at bases across the country, including the now-defunct George Air Force Base in Victorville, Calif. (Briana Smith/News21)

VICTORVILLE, CA — Once a fighter jet training base critical to the Cold War, little remains of the former George Air Force Base but rows of dilapidated houses, a dismantled military hospital and dangerous chemicals from pesticides, jet fuels and other hazardous wastes that have poisoned the water for decades. “Now when I see the base today, areas of it look like a war zone,” said Frank Vera, an Air Force veteran stationed on the base in the early 1970s. “I don’t think people know what to do with some of these areas because they are so contaminated.”

News21 (This report is part of the “Troubled Water” project produced by the Carnegie-Knight News21 initiative, a national investigative reporting project by top college journalism students and recent graduates from across the country and headquartered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.)

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