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Senators ask for Camp Lejeune water study

Dec. 14, 2009 at 9:34 AM

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., Dec. 14 (UPI) -- A bipartisan group of U.S. senators says the Navy should carry out a $1.8 million study of tainted drinking water at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Sens. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., Richard Burr, R-N.C., Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and George LeMieux, R-Fla., have sent a letter to Navy officials urging they follow through on a request by the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to carry out the study at the Marine Corps camp, the military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported Monday.

"We have an obligation to the men and women who serve our country and their families to investigate this matter to the full extent," the letter reads.

Degreaser and dry-cleaning solvents were first found in the early 1980s, but the affected wells were not shut down until 1985. The Navy has already spent about $14 million for health studies over the past several years, the newspaper said.

The ATSDR has asked the Navy spend $1.8 million on a comprehensive mortality study. Navy officials told Stars and Stripes they had received the senators' letter, but declined comment until Navy Secretary Ray Mabus could respond directly to the senators.

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