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Environmental Law

Toxic Tap Water for Years at Marine Base

Posted Jun 13, 2007 6:05 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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At least twenty-five years after toxins were found to have seeped into the water supply at a North Carolina marine base, the situation is still being studied.

A report released Tuesday, as emotional testimony began at a hearing by the House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee by individuals who say they and their families were injured by exposure to toxic tap water, found some 75,000 Marines and family members at Camp LeJeune may have been exposed to cancer- and birth defect-causing chemicals. About 850 are claiming such injuries, according to CNN.

The water reportedly contained high concentrations of TCE, a degreasing agent, and PCE, a dry-cleaning solvent, from 1957 to at least 1987.

Both Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., who chairs the committee, and Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., its ranking GOP member, focused on the Environmental Protection Agency's investigation of the situation, and Whitfield said he wonders wny no criminal charges were pursued against those who apparently swept the situation under the rug, according to CNN. "We have many people who have died," he said. "We have many people who have suffered significant health problems."

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