Victims: Marines Failed To Safeguard Water Supply


“I have no knowledge of it,” said Danny Sharpe, who succeeded Wooten as section chief and was in charge when the first drinking water wells were shut down in the mid-1980s. “I don’t remember that at all.”

Wooten was an ecologist, and Sharpe’s background is in forestry and soil conservation. But Elizabeth Betz, the supervisory chemist at Lejeune from 1979 to 1995, was also at a loss when asked about the CCE testing.

“I do not remember any such test being requested nor do I remember seeing any such test results,” Betz, who later worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s national exposure branch at Research Triangle Park outside Raleigh, wrote in a recent email.

Hargett, the former co-owner of Grainger Laboratories in Raleigh, said he never saw any evidence that the base was testing and treating for anything beyond e coli and other bacteria.

“That was a state regulation … that they had to maintain a sanitary water supply,” he said. “And they did a good job at that.”

Motz, the Marine spokeswoman, told the AP that the method called for in the manual would not have detected the toxins at issue in the Camp Lejeune case.

“The CCE method includes a drying step and a distillation (evaporation) step where chloroform is completely evaporated,” she wrote in an email. These volatile organic compounds, “by their chemical nature, would evaporate readily as well,” she wrote.

ATSDR contacted the EPA about the “utility” of such testing and concluded it would be of no value in detecting TCE, PCE, or benzene, Deputy Director Tom Sinks wrote in an email to members of a community assistance panel on Lejeune.

“It is doubtful that the weight of their residue would be detectable when subjected to this method,” Sinks wrote.

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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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