Apr 20,2009 00:00
CAMP LEJUENE, N.C. -- The U.S. Marine Corps is trying to contact 500,000 people who lived and worked at Camp Lejeune, N.C., to warn them about tainted drinking water.
The Corps is circulating fliers to be posted at bases around the world in an effort to track down an many Marines, civilians and families who lived at Camp Lejuene between November 1957 and February 1987, Stars and Stripes reported Monday.
"We've started using different venues to reach different populations in different areas," Corps spokeswoman Capt. Amy Malugani told the newspaper, adding that the Department of the Navy has spent nearly $10 million on outreach campaigns.
Scientists in 1982 found the presence of the degreaser tricholoroethylene, or TCE, and the dry-cleaning solvent tetrachloroethylene, or PCE, in the drinking water at two housing areas in the base. The contaminated wells kept supplying drinking water to the housing complexes until 1985.
The sources were identified as a commercial dry cleaner near Camp Lejeune's main gate and a vehicle maintenance and body shop on the base, the newspaper said.
Officials say about 1,400 legal claims are pending in connection with the contamination, seeking a total of $33 billion.
Copyright © 2009, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.