Navy agrees to fund toxic water study at Lejeune
Posted February 19, 2010 11:30 a.m. EST
Updated February 19, 2010 4:17 p.m. EST
WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Navy has agreed after months of fighting to fund a study into the health effects of past water pollution at Camp Lejeune on Marines.
The Department of the Navy says in a letter Thursday to the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry it will pay more than $1.5 million for the work. The study will look at whether there are higher mortality rates for Marines who served at the base during the years the water was contaminated.
The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter Friday.
U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan had urged the Navy to fund the study. The two lawmakers were behind legislation passed by the Senate in September preventing the military from dismissing claims related to water contamination before studies are completed.
“For months, I have been pressing the Navy to fund the mortality study. It is the key to determining whether there were higher mortality rates for active-duty Marines and their families who lived at Camp Lejeune during the years of water contamination," Hagan said in a statement. "The findings will help bring answers to our Lejeune families who deserve closure on this issue."