"Lejeune Water Probe: Did Marine Corps Hide Benzene Data?"

"Congressional investigators late Tuesday requested detailed documents from Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and a private contractor that was involved in the testing and cleanup of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, N.C., over the past two decades.

More letters to the Environmental Protection Agency and a second private contractor are expected this week.

Among investigators' questions: why a federal agency charged with understanding the health impacts of the contamination didn't realize until recently that benzene — a fuel solvent known to cause cancer in humans — was among the substances found in drinking water at Camp Lejeune.

For years, the Marines apparently didn't provide documents about the benzene to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, which has worked for nearly two decades to understand the contamination and its health impacts, said Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., the chairman of the oversight panel on the House Science and Technology Committee."

Barbara Barrett reports for McClatchy Newspapers March 9, 2010.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010