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Camp Lejeune Finally Cleaning Up Its Act

Nearly 30 years after the end of what is likely the worst water contamination in U.S. history, the cleanup of the site of the contamination is finally nearing an end, according to an article from the Associated Press.

Between 1953 and 1987, nearly one million Marines, their families and civilians were exposed to highly contaminated water at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. After the water wells were shut, a massive cleanup operation began that is just now finishing up.

From the article:

Of the more than 600 polluted sites scattered about the 170-square-mile base, about five dozen remain to be addressed. ABC Cleaners — the offsite business that dumped cancer-causing solvents into the Lejeune water table — stands vacant, the paint flaking from its rotting clapboards.

Wells tainted with gasoline, pesticides and toxic degreasers have been isolated, and technicians test the water from the base’s treatment plants monthly. 

The contamination of these wells, which provided water for cooking, drinking and bathing, caused an outbreak of cancers in people who lived on the base and who were born there. Last year, President Obama signed a bill into law that provided health care to the victims of Camp Lejeune, but the Pentagon is still withholding key information about the contamination from the public. Even though it has been decades since the contamination, the investigation is hardly over. For instance, new information shows the contamination started four years earlier than previously thought, which means tens of thousands more people could be affected.

Read more about the clean-up of Camp Lejeune.  

By: Andre Francisco
Former Online Producer, POGO

andre francisco At the time of publication, Andre Francisco was the Online Producer for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: Public Health and Science

Related Content: Camp Lejeune Contamination Cover-up

Authors: Andre Francisco

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