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He said he had no information on whether the well water was dangerous to humans.” The Wilmington Morning Star’s article was contained more details and false as- surances than the Daily News.The State head of the Water Supply Branch which regulates drinking water in North Carolina was quoted as stating” “he did not think Camp Lejeune residents need to worry about getting bad drinking water. 34 Another paper expanded this quote to inelude “It’s not something that has been running for two or three years.” Base Spokesman Gunnery Sergeant John Simmons ended the article with what has become a standard Marine Corps anthem regarding the Camp Lejeune drinking water contamination and then wrapped it in a total fahrication. GOVERNMENT INFORMATION ^ CAMP LEJEUNE: CONTAMINATION AND COMPENSATION, LOOKING BACK, MOVING FORWARD HEARING BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON INA^STIGATIONS AND OA^RSIGHT COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY HOUSE OF REPRESENTATDH]S ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION SEPTEMBER 16, 2010 Serial No. At no point between the first warning of a problem with the base water supply discovered in October 1980 and the appearance of the first announcement informing the residents of the hase that their drinking water was contaminated in December 1984, were any of the residents and the State of North Carolina informed about the contaminants found in the Hadnot Point and Tarawa Terrace drinking water sys- tems.111-108 Printed for the use of the Committee on Science and Technology o CLW 707, March 1983. The first indication of a problem from the Marine Corps was an article an- nouncing the commencement of the Confirmation Study.Lilley advised the residents of the base that” “while contractors will routinely wear personal protective equipment such as chemical resistant overalls, we do not expect to expose anyone to any contaminants. If any contaminants are discovered, a review of alternatives will deter- mine action necessary to meet health and environmental standards.”^ What the Colonel failed to inform the residents was that they were already being exposed.
By September of 1985, the Marine Corps’ story became more direct as evidenced by a quote from the base Environmental Engineer, Robert Alex- ander, the same person who received Betz’s memo in January 1983 concerning Grainger’s tests performed on the Hadnot Point and Tarawa Terrace WTPs and the water provided to the system’s consumers: “Alexander said the 22 sites are not considered dangerous because only trace amounts of contamination have been found to have escaped from the dumps. The false contention that people were not directly exposed to the pollutants appeared again in a media story detailing the contamina- tion written in January 1986.®® On Christmas Eve 1987, the Jacksonville Daily News again repeated Robert Alex- ander’s September 1985 assertion that people had not been directly exposed to the pollutants.
The attention was more than likely due to the impending release of O’Brien and Gere’s Final Report for the Contaminated Ground Water Study at Hadnot Point.®® The en- gineer’s report detailed large losses of fuel from the HPFF and a fuel plume 15ft thick was identified floating in the semi confined aquifer at Hadnot Point. 36 “Cleanup is expected to start after final design of glue! Recovered gasoline products are expected to be recycled for use on the base.” By the following year, the base was ready for listing on the NPL and the old pat- tern of “no single source had been found for the chemicals (solvents) along with the 1983 IAS conclusion that none of the 22 sites selected for further investigation posed an immediate threat to human health were rehashed in the media.
Once again, Marine Corps statements in the media did not match up what was actually known at the time. Of the 22 sites, the Hadnot Point Fuel Farm was designated as the first site to be cleaned up once Lejeune was placed on the Superfund list.^^^ Camp Lejeune was officially added to the NPL in October 1989.
In a meeting which took place at the base in November of 1985, Robert Alexander told the EPA that their contractor’s report was in error and resisted the idea of placing the base on the NPL.®^ Somehow or another, the EPA walked away with the idea that no contamination was detected in treated potable water at the Hadnot Point WTP.®® Two weeks after this meeting. Was this misrepresentation fabricated by de- sign or ignorance?
The massive Hadnot Point Fuel Farm fuel spill surfaced again in late 1988.