Mar 1, 2010

Trial by water - Editorials -

Trial by water - Editorials -

A whole lot of people were exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune during a stretch of years ending in the mid-1980s - of that there seems no doubt. Yet questions abound: Who was harmed? And at this stage, should anyone, or the government itself, be held to account?

A federal judge in Raleigh, Terrence Boyle, last week declined to dismiss a suit filed by the wife of former Marine officer who blames Lejeune's water for her non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The Navy's "unwillingness to release information regarding contamination at Camp Lejeune or to provide notice to former residents remains relevant ... " Boyle wrote.

The judge also noted that the Marine Corps was obliged under regulations to provide drinking water free of unhealthy "impurities." Oops - the Lejeune water, tainted with spilled fuel and who knows what else, apparently contained such goodies as trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride and benzene. At least the Navy finally has agreed to finance a study into who may have been sickened - or killed - by the befouled faucets of Camp Lejeune.

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