Victims: Marines Failed To Safeguard Water Supply


In 1963, the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery issued “The Manual of Naval Preventive Medicine.” Chapter 5 is titled “Water Supply Ashore.”

“The water supply should be obtained from the most desirable sources which is feasible, and effort should be made to prevent or control pollution of the source,” it reads.

At the time, the Defense Department adopted water quality standards set by the U.S. Public Health Service. To measure that quality, the Navy manual identified CCE “as a technically practical procedure which will afford a large measure of protection against the presence of undetected toxic materials in finished drinking water.”

Also referred to as the “oil and grease test,” CCE was intended to protect against an “unwarranted dosage of the water consumer with ill-defined chemicals,” according to the Navy manual. The CCE standard set in 1963 was 200 ppb. In 1972, the Navy further tightened it to no more than 150 ppb.

In response to a request from The Associated Press, Capt. Kendra Motz said the Marines could produce no copies of CCE test results for Lejeune, despite searching for “many hours.”

“Some documents that might be relevant to your question may no longer be maintained by the Marine Corps or the Department of the Navy in accordance with records management policies,” she wrote in an email. “The absence of records 50 years later does not necessarily mean action was not taken.”

But the two men who oversaw the base lab told the AP they were not even familiar with the procedure.

“A what?” asked Julian Wooten, who was head of the Lejeune environmental section during the 1970s, when asked if his staff had ever performed the CCE test. “I never saw anything, unless the (Navy’s) preventive medicine people were doing some. I don’t have any knowledge of that kind of operation or that kind of testing being done. Not back then.”

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Posted by on Jun 1st, 2013 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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