Where to Watch FOX40 News During the World Cup

McClellan Air Force Base Officials Meet with Residents Over Chromium 6 Concerns

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.


McClellan Air Force Base officials met with Rio Linda neighbors at the North Highlands Community Center on Thursday to provide information about their on-going cleanup efforts, focusing on Chromium 6 treatment.

"The idea that McClellan has any influence on the regional activities is a false conclusion," said McClellan Radiation Safety Officer Steve Mayer.

Mayer told FOX40 that McClellan has been pumping groundwater and treating it for Chromium 6, a toxic metal, for 3 decades.

​"​McClellan​'​s been working for over 30 years on their cleanup program here at the base, what we're dealing with​,​ with ​C​hrom​ium​ 6 ​is very small, isolated, body of contamination. S​o we have very tight controls on it in terms ​of knowing where it's at and how to extract i​t​ from the soil​, a​nd we've been doing that for many years," Mayer said.

However, some neighbors in Rio Linda think Chromium 6 that may have traveled into their groundwater from McClellan has caused cancer.

​"​We have a whole town that is just littered with cancer ... scientists have said they don't think Chromium 6 caused my cancer, but there's no study done," Anna Marie Tomlinson said.

Tomlinson is a breast cancer survivor. She told FOX40 she followed her gut instinct, and asked her neighbors how many of them also had the disease. She said she found several cancer clusters in nearby neighborhoods.

​"We are people, don't we deserve an investigation?" Tomlinson asked. ​

​"T​he naturally occurring levels of C​hromium​ 6​ in drinking water is exceeding the state standard," Mayer said.

Mayer said California recently lowered the state standard for Chromium 6 in drinking water from 50 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion, which is 1/10 of the national standard. ​

​"H​ere in California,​ we have naturally occurring rock formations in the Sierras and  resulting here in the valley, the sediments form those that have ​C​hromium ​6 ​as part of the natural makeup of the rock​.​ S​o rainfall that goes through that rock naturally picks up and absorbs into the solutions some of that ​C​hromium​," Mayer said. ​

​Spokesperson for the Rio Linda Community Water District Mary Harris said she does believe there is a need for more scientific study of Chromium 6 in Rio Linda water.

​"W​e need to just gather more information,​ everybody needs to gather more information to figure out here it​'​s coming from, if its naturally occurring or not​," Harris said.​