Veteranclaims’s Blog

March 10, 2010

Congress Requests Detailed Data on Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 12:41 am

Full Article at:
Congressional probers seek data on Lejeune water contamination

McClatchy Newspapers

By Barbara Barrett,

WASHINGTON — Congressional investigators late Tuesday requested detailed documents from Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and a private contractor that was involved in the testing and cleanup of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, N.C. , over the past two decades.

More letters to the Environmental Protection Agency and a second private contractor are expected this week.

Among investigators’ questions: why a federal agency charged with understanding the health impacts of the contamination didn’t realize until recently that benzene — a fuel solvent known to cause cancer in humans — was among the substances found in drinking water at Camp Lejeune .

For years, the Marines apparently didn’t provide documents about the benzene to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry , which has worked for nearly two decades to understand the contamination and its health impacts, said Rep. Brad Miller , D- N.C. , the chairman of the oversight panel on the House Science and Technology Committee .

“We want to know what did (the Navy and the Marine Corps ) know about the water, when did they know and what did they do about it,” Miller said in an interview.

“Did they know about it during the 30 years when Marines and families were exposed to the water?” Miller asked. “Did they know about it and not do anything to stop it?”

In his letter, Miller told Mabus that he wants access by next Monday to a password-protected online database that contains thousands of records related to the contamination, thought to have occurred from 1957 to 1987.

The database hasn’t been made public. It was finally made accessible to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry last year.

The agency tossed out a 1997 study on health effects after it learned that benzene was among the chemicals in the water. Until then, Miller wrote Mabus, the agency didn’t have the documents it needed to complete its work.”

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