Grassley works for transparency regarding water contamination at Camp Lejeune Chuck Grassley said that transparency about water contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is long overdue,as Judiciary Committee Chairman Leahy released more than 8,500 documents from DOD...
PoliticalNews.me - Jul 21,2012 - Grassley works for transparency regarding water contamination at Camp Lejeune
WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley said that transparency about water contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is long overdue, as Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy released more than 8,500 documents from the Department of Defense. The documents were produced in response to a request made last month by Leahy and Grassley.
The Department of Defense had refused to produce documents in response to a similar request made in March. That request stemmed from complaints to members of Congress about the Navy’s refusal to disclose documents needed for scientific studies of the contamination at the base.
“Congressional offices had received complaints that the Navy was improperly citing exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act to withhold documents related to the contamination,” Grassley said, expressing frustration that the Obama administration has not been more forthcoming despite memos issued by the President and pledges to be the “most transparent administration ever.”
The drinking water contamination that took place over several decades at the base was one of the worst environmental disasters in American history. A registry exists for individuals who lived or worked at the base before 1987 to receive notifications about the contamination. It includes the names of 1,121 Iowans. It is estimated that more than 750,000 people may have been exposed to hazardous chemicals at the base.
Grassley cosponsored the Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act, which was introduced by Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina in 2011. A version of the bill passed the Senate yesterday with unanimous approval. The legislation would help to provide medical treatment and care for service members and their families who lived at the camp and were injured by this chemical contamination.
Floor Statement of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley
Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Water Contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune
I’m pleased that Chairman Leahy and I were able to help with the effort to look at the issue of water contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. In particular, in June, we sent a letter to the Department of Defense, which has resulted in it producing more than 8,500 documents to the Judiciary Committee.
I know that Senator Burr and others have been leaders with the effort to look into the situation at Camp Lejeune.
Every member of the Senate should be aware of the situation at Camp Lejeune.
The drinking water contamination that took place over several decades at the base was one of the worst environmental disasters in American history.
Camp Lejeune was designated a Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1988 after inspections confirmed contamination of the ground water due to the migration of hazardous chemicals from outside the base and inadequate procedures to contain and dispose of hazardous chemicals on the base.
Residents of every State, who previously lived or worked at the base, have been impacted by the contamination.