The chief of the federal agency researching polluted drinking water at Camp Lejeune told lawmakers last month that her agency lacks the authority and expertise to conduct a study of cancer frequency among veterans of the North Carolina base.
That comes as a surprise to the dean of the U.S. House, Rep. John Dingell, the Michigan Democrat who played a critical role in the formation of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in 1983.
In a letter Wednesday to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Dingell and North Carolina Sens. Kay Hagan and Richard Burr, said they were "dismayed" by ATSDR's reluctance to conduct the cancer study. HHS oversees ATSDR.