North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole says military officials should tell thousands of Marine families and workers that they used contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
Dole is trying to force the Secretary of the Navy to find and notify Marines and civilians exposed to the water up until the mid-1980s, when the base shut down the toxin-contaminated wells.
Her requirement was in an amendment offered today to a broad
military money bill before the legislation was pulled from the floor in a showdown over Iraq. The larger bill may be back as soon as September.
Government health officials estimate as many as a million people may have been exposed during three decades of water contamination going back to 1957. That situation was examined in a recent Associated Press investigation.
The groundwater contamination stemmed from industrial activity and hazardous waste on the base and from a neighboring dry cleaner.