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Missouri hid groundwater contamination for decades

Residents in Springfield, Missouri, had no idea that their drinking water might be contaminated with toxic chemicals, disposed of improperly by a defense contractor, until 2019. In the years since, the community is still looking for answers to how this happened.

For years, a contractor for the U.S. Navy improperly disposed of a toxic solvent called trichloroethylene — used to wash circuit boards — that leached into groundwater in Springfield, Missouri, possibly contaminating local wells. Although the plant had closed in 2007, Springfield residents had no clue that their drinking water could be toxic until the state issued an apology in 2019.

The Midwest Newsroom's Eric Schmid and Steve Vockrodt spoke with those affected to understand the extent of this communities contamination.

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