Lakewood Water District in Washington state has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Defense and related manufacturers over the use of a firefighting foam containing PFAS (aka “forever chemical”).

The fire retardant, used over 35 years at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), has seeped into the groundwater supply of the surrounding area, reports the News Tribune.

District officials say the cleanup of the cancer-causing chemical will take over 50 years to remediate and cost over $377 million.

Although the lawsuit was filed July 16 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, reports say the case will convalesce into a larger PFAS case in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina.

Photo by Airman 1st Class Amber Powell // U.S. Air Force