Unanswered Questions

It is unclear whether federal investigators are still probing for illegal or unethical conduct in the never-ending case of Camp Lejeune’s toxic drinking water. There are plenty of places they could look, though, including a number of apparent improprieties described in A Trust Betrayed.

There were the indications that Navy officials were allowed to review and edit the first Public Health Assessment of the base’s pollution before it was released in the 1990s by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Polluters are not normally part of the process of assessing the damage they have done to health and the environment, and the Navy’s opportunity to suggest changes in the PHA could help explain why the document was later found to be so flawed it needed significant revisions; a final assessment still has not been released by the ATSDR.

There were the suggestions that an expert panel appointed by the National Academy of Sciences was wined and dined at the base as it began studying the problems caused by Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water. The panel’s report, which concluded that illnesses could not be directly linked to the pollution, was later widely discredited.

There were the redactions the Navy was allowed to make in an ATSDR water-modeling study that made it impossible for the research to be independently verified. Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina asked the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate, but no report has been released.

There is also evidence that federal officials have overlooked another possible pathway of exposure to toxic chemicals at the base: vapors seeping from polluted underground sites into the air inside buildings. More information about that significant problem will be posted here later.

On top of all those issues is the fact that the Marine Corps has repeatedly stonewalled the efforts of investigators to study the contamination problems at Camp Lejeune. The Tampa Bay Times reported last year that the Marines withheld more than 40,000 documents from the ATSDR until July 2013, nearly three full decades after the contamination was publicly disclosed in 1985.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare on GooglePlusShare on Pinterest


The latest news on Camp Lejeune since publication of A Trust Betrayed:

New Lejeune water contamination report raises concerns, Jacksonville Daily News, March 19, 2015

11th Circuit declines to rehear Camp Lejeune drinking water suit, Westlaw Journal, February 12, 2015

Law expands water contamination dates for family claims, Jacksonville Daily News, December 19, 2014

Why Didn’t Toxic Waste Cause a Cancer Epidemic, Like We Expected in the 1970s?, National Geographic, December 14, 2014

ATSDR Study Suggests Women’s Exposures to Contaminated Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune Might Be Associated with Adverse Birth Outcomes, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, November 21, 2014

Interview with Mike Magner, author of A Trust Betrayed, The Living Well Show, October 2014

VA vows to pay families sickened after exposure to Lejeune water, Charlotte News & Observer, October 20, 2014

Statute of Repose Issues Illustrated in the Dismissal of Camp Lejeune Pollution Claims, Brad Reid Dean of the Institute for Corporate Governance and Integrity, Lipscomb University, Huffington Post, October 20, 2014

File Under Disgraceful: Appeals court rejects Camp Lejeune water lawsuit, Chatham (N.C.) Bulletin Board, with link to Charlotte Observer, October 14, 2014

U.S. court rebuffs Marine Corps families in polluted water case, Reuters, October 15, 2014

I-Team: Toxic-water victims at Camp Lejeune can’t sue, WTVD Raleigh, N.C., October 14, 2014

A 31-year-old man deals with breast cancer, PR Urgent press release, October 12, 2014

Lejeune vets exposed to toxic water have deadline extended, Marine Corps Times, October 7, 2014

Peter Devereaux: With tenacity and a smile, North Andover (Mass.) Wicked Local, October 7, 2014

Lejeune families finally getting help, Jacksonville Daily News, September 28, 2014

Under 2012 law, VA to cover health costs of Marines’ ill dependents at Camp Lejeune, Washington Post, September 24, 2014

New regulation would allow dependents to claim contaminated water health issues, Jacksonville Daily News, September 24, 2014

Mortality study of civilian employees exposed to contaminated drinking water at USMC Base Camp Lejeune: A retrospective cohort study, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, August 2014

Camp Lejeune and the U.S. Military’s Polluted Legacy, Newsweek, July 16, 2014

Drinking from a Poisonous Tap: Over 6 Decades at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, Lou Freshwater, July 2014

Obama administration moves to deny justice for Camp Lejeune veterans, Roll Call: Guest Commentary, July 2, 2014

Excerpt from A Trust Betrayed, Utne Reader, June 2014

Camp Lejeune water pollution victims setback, Living on Earth, June 20, 2014

Governor signs bill helping Lejeune, Asheville families in pollution lawsuits, Charlotte News & Observer, June 20, 2014

Senate approves CTS lawsuit contamination bill, Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-TImes, June 19, 2014

Obama lawyers find finish to Lejeune toxic-water case, North Carolina News, June 12, 2014

Supreme Court supports toxic polluters, imperils Camp Lejeune vets’ litigation, Project on Government Oversight, June 9, 2014

Erin Brockovich discusses Camp Lejeune victims on MSNBC, Project on Government Oversight, April 22, 2014

New Book Examines Camp Lejeune Water Poisoning, Project on Government Oversight, April 17, 2014

New Camp Lejeune documents come to light, Tampa Bay Times, April 8, 2014

Loveland veteran is waiting for answers, Loveland (Colo.) Reporter-Herald, April 6, 2014

Cancer study on Camp Lejeune mired in controversy, Project on Government Oversight, March 31, 2014

Government straddles both sides in toxic water cases, USA Today, March 1, 2014

Camp Lejeune study called ‘significant step’ in understanding cancer cases, Tampa Bay Times, February 20, 2014

GOP bills would allow VA secretary to fire career executives over performance, The Washington Post, February 14, 2014

VA under fire for proposed disability filing rule, Associated Press, January 11, 2014

CDC report shows danger at Camp Lejeune, The Virginian-Pilot, December 11, 2013

CDC’s Camp Lejeune study links birth defects to marine base’s drinking water, CBS News/AP, December 6, 2013