Author of Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Report Criticizes Military for Censoring Details
Saturday, March 10, 2012
The expert in charge of investigating water contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina has accused the military and a federal agency of censoring a new report on the problem, after they claimed to have done so for reasons of national security.
From the 1950s to the mid-1980s the water supply at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with chemicals from an off-base dry-cleaning company and trichloroethylene (TCE), which was used to clean military equipment. Even though Marine Corps commanders issued an order in 1974 to safely dispose of solvents, dangerous chemicals were still dumped near water wells for years. And it wasn’t until 1984 that the Corps completed its testing of underground wells that revealed the presence of harmful chemicals, forcing the closure of many. By then, about 750,000 Marines and Marine family members had been exposed to the tainted water. Of these, more than 70 men developed an extremely rare form of male breast cancer. Other Marines believe deaths by cancer in their families were caused by the Corps’ negligent monitoring of the base water supply.
Robert Faye, a hydrologist and civil engineer who authored the report, says portions were redacted by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, with the approval of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Also, Faye claims ATSDR Administrator Dr. Thomas Frieden gave Congress “false and misleading” statements regarding the scientific content of the report and its redactions.
Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), an advocate for Camp Lejeune victims, has asked ATSDR to explain why the redactions were approved.
To Learn More:
Camp Lejeune Report Author Says Redactions Compromise the Science, Sen. Burr Calls for IG Investigation (by Dana Liebelson, Project on Government Oversight)
Analyses and Historical Reconstruction of Groundwater Flow, Contaminant Fate and Transport, and Distribution of Drinking Water Within the Service Areas of the Hadnot Point and Holcomb Boulevard Water Treatment Plants and Vicinities (redacted) (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) (pdf)
EPA Finally Admits that Chemical in Camp Lejeune Water Caused Cancer (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
20 From Camp Lejeune Marine Base Developed Male Breast Cancer, Blame Toxic Water(by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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