Boeing's toxic chemicals have seeped into Algona groundwater

ALGONA, Wash. -- Michael Ramirez has almost everything he wants: healthy kids, a wife willing to help clean the garage and even a new black lab puppy named Penelope.

But what he can't have is peace of mind. There's too much poison underneath his house.

"The chemical is in our area. It has been tested directly in front of my house," he said.

Ramirez is one of more than a dozen homes in Algona concerned about contamination from a nearby Boeing facility that has been happening for decades.

The company admits toxic chemicals have seeped into the groundwater and soil in the town, and ongoing studies are trying to show how much it might get into homes.

The chemical, called TCE, can cause cancers in large or long exposures.

"It's not real high levels, but it's not low enough to say that there's nothing to be concerned about," said Larry Altose with the Washington State Ecology Department.

Algona Mayor David Hill is so worried about the chemical he said he wouldn't let his grandchildren move to town near a contamination site.

He said he's trying to regain his faith in Boeing and the state.

"We're building that trust. I have had some difficulty trusting them in the past," Hill said.

Boeing still isn't revealing how much it plans to spend for research. Data that will be complete by the winter could help neighbors like Ramirez know if his home is okay.

"Safe levels or not, I don't think we should be around any levels of something that attacks your organs," Ramirez said.