Raytheon Corp. is the target of two class action lawsuits filed on behalf of residents who may be affected by contaminated groundwater in the Azalea area of St. Petersburg. The suits were filed after reports of contaminants infiltrating the groundwater in the neighborhood. Chemicals found in the area of the Raytheon site on 72nd Street include vinyl chloride and 1,4-dioxane, both of which have been associated with cancer and other illnesses. The lawsuits ask Raytheon, which inherited the problem when it purchased the site from E-Systems, to compensate homeowners for their diminished property values, and pay for medical screening of people in the neighborhood, as well as cover any costs of cleanup of the toxic seepage.
Sources indicate neither Raytheon nor Department of Environmental Protection officials told residents about the underground contamination that was migrating from the plant site into the neighborhood, and both entities publicly claim the contamination plume poses no health risk.