Camp Lejeune: Toxic Water Contamination

camp lejeune toxic water

If you or a loved one lived or worked at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune for at least 30 consecutive days between Aug. 1, 1953 – Dec. 31, 1987 and suffered a life-altering illness, your condition may have been caused by contaminated water while you resided there. Contact Herrman & Herrman today for a free consultation to start your case.

Legislation: The Camp Lejeune Justice Act

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is a bill currently making its way through Congress. According to this bill “would allow soldiers stationed at the base for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 to sue the government for damages after exposure to toxic substances in the water, also known as VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Almost one million people lived and worked at the base between 1953 and 1987, and a study found that people staying in Camp Lejeune had significantly higher mortality rates for several forms of cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphona, leukemia and other conditions.”

If passed, anyone who lived at the base for 30+ days between August 1953 and December 1987 will be able to pursue legal action. If there is enough documentation to suggest there is a relationship between the contaminated water and the sustained injuries, those victims or their legal representatives may qualify for damages caused by this governmental negligence.

The bill has been in and out of Congress. Only now. After multiple injuries and deaths have been documented, is the bill likely to pass.

Injuries From Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Anyone who lived in and around the base for at least 30 days is likely to develop an illness from ingesting and bathing in the contaminated water. There are many known injuries and they are varied. Among them are:

Breast cancer
Bladder cancer
Esophageal cancer
Hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease)
Kidney cancer
Lung cancer
Multiple myeloma
Myelodysplastic syndromes
Neurobehavioral effects
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Parkinson’s Disease
Female infertility
Renal Toxicity
Birth defects
And many more serious illnesses.

About Camp Lejeune’s Water: Tarawa Terrace & Hadnot Point

Camp Lejeune is a site of one of the worst water contamination cases in the US. This marine corps base was a frequent pollution spot where oil, industrial wastewater, and toxic chemicals were all knowingly dumped in the local storm drains between 1952 and 1987, contaminating the local water supply for 35 years.

The cause was two water- supply systems on the base: Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point water treatment plants. These water supplies served enlisted family housing, barracks for unmarried military personnel, base administrative offices, schools, recreational areas, as well as the base hospital and housting on the Holcomb Boulevard water system. These water treatment plants causing the contamination were not closed until 1987.

The military base was labeled as a major polluter by the Environmental Protection Agency. Reports from 1980 discuss how buried fuel tanks could leak and contaminate the drinking water for the area. Only in 1982 was the water being tested and proper disposal processes were outlined in 1984. However, the damage had already been done, and everyone on the base and in the surrounding areas were exposed.

How Did The Toxic Water Contamination Happen?

In 1980 officials at the base found the water to be contaminated after a requirement from the Environmental Protection Agency. 2 years later, an analyst hired by the U.S. Marine Corps confirmed the water was contaminated. While there are other contaminants, the main contaminants are industrial solvents: trichloroethylene (TCE) & perchloroethylene (PCE).

According to the study, PCE was the prominent contaminant found in the Tarawa Terrace water. This contamination likely began in 1953, as this was the year that dry cleaning operations began. The groundwater became contaminated with PCE from spills and improper disposal practices from dry cleaners (ABC One-Hour Cleaners).
The Hadnot Point water contamination had multiple sources and contaminants. The most prominent contaminant found in the 1980s was TCE. This largely came from on-base spills at industrial sites or leaks from the underground storage tanks and drums at dumps and storage lots.

Both TCE and PCE are known to have toxic effects on animals and humans

Contact Herrman & Herrman Today For Help

The victims are heroes commissioned to work at the base who gave themselves to serve their country, their families who believed they were safe within the military base, and countless other unsuspecting personnel who worked in and around the base that was exposed. Though there are thousands of reported cases, the total effects of the contamination and the range to which it spread are still under an ongoing investigation.

Though the pollution started at Camp Lejeune decades ago, there are many fighting for their lives across the country now. Despite the thousands of stories told by victims suffering from this tragedy, there are still thousands more unaccounted for in the United States. We need to hear your story. You deserve compensation for any harm the contaminated water has caused you and your family. Talk to an attorney at Herrman & Herrman today to get maximum compensation.

Contact us today to complete a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Our firm has offices in the following locations: Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi South Side, Brownsville, McAllen, San Antonio, Houston, and Ft. Worth, TX.