Homeowners in the rural Palm Beach County community known as The Acreage have filed a federal lawsuit charging that defense contractor, Pratt & Whitney, is responsible for the pollution that has caused a cancer cluster in the neighborhood. This is a class-action lawsuit on behalf of about 10,000 homeowners and is the first filed to try and get to the bottom of the issue since the Department of Health has been slow to recognize and identify the problem.
Finally, health officials in Florida finally admitted that The Acreage has an elevated number of brain cancers among children and teens living in The Acreage. The state still doesn’t have a cause, though it says it’s been investigating since last summer. This has also done nothing for property value.
Beginning in the 1950s, Pratt & Whitney handled and stored chemicals including PCBs, which cause cancer, and there was leakage from the site along Beeline Highway. The company says it has not harmed the public health and that there has been “little to no migration of groundwater impact off our site.”
13 families have had children or teens with brain cancers of cancer of the central nervous system over the 1994 to 2008 time period. While the state has tested well water and found it “generally good,” Pratt & Whitney is just too close for comfort and has been the subject of a state monitored cleanup for nearly 20 years. There are at least 24 contaminants still allegedly on the property.