Kaltofen, a professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, acknowledged that CCE is “a relatively primitive test.” But in addition to the water’s odor, Kaltofen said, “there are some things that a careful analyst would easily have noticed.”
“It would have prompted you to simply say, ‘Wow. There is something here. Let’s do some additional work,”’ he told the AP. Any “reputable chemist … would have raised their hands to the person responsible and said, ‘Guys. You ought to look at this. There’s more here.”’
The Marines have said such high readings were merely spikes. But Kaltofen countered that, “You can’t get that level even once without having a very serious problem … It’s the worst case.”
In a recent interview, Wooten told the AP that he knew something was wrong with the water as early as the 1960s, when he worked in the maintenance department.
“I was usually the first person in in the big building that we worked in,” he said. “And I’d cut the water on and let it run, just go and flush the commodes and cut the water on and let it run for several minutes before I’d attempt to make coffee.”
Wooten said he made repeated budget requests for additional equipment and lab workers. But as Betz told a federal fact-finding group, “the lab was very low on the priority list at the base.”
She said her group – the Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Department – was “like the ‘red headed stepchild.”’
Even a series of increasingly urgent reports from an Army lab at Fort McPherson, Ga., beginning in late 1980, failed to prompt any real action.
“WATER HIGHLY CONTAMINATED WITH OTHER CHLORINATED HYDROCARBONS (SOLVENTS!)” cautioned one memo from the Army lab in early 1981.<< previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 next >>
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