Public Forum on Lejeune Water Contamination

Jul 20, 2011

Water contamination at Camp Lejeune is the subject of a public forum today in Wilmington. Experts estimate close to a million people at Camp Lejeune might have been exposed to contaminated water between the 1950's and 1980's. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry will host the session. Previous meetings have been held at the agency's headquarters in Atlanta. But they're holding the meeting in Wilmington because of the large number of affected residents in North Carolina.

Jerry Ensminger is a member of the community assistance panel for the agency and an advocate for contamination victims. He says people attending the forum will hear from the agency about current and future studies looking into the issue.

Jerry Ensminger: The sad thing is that they're not going to hear anything out of the United States Marine Corps. The Marine Corps was invited to attend these functions and they have flat out refused to do it.

Marine Corps spokeswoman Kendra Hardesty says the Marine Corps sent representatives to previous meetings.

Kendra Hardesty: However in the recent past it's become clear that our presence at the CAP meetings was distracting from the CAP and their intended purpose and goals. So accordingly we've made the decision to reduce our presence so the community can receive the full benefit of those meetings.
She says a representative of the Navy will be at the meeting to observe.

The meeting is between 9am and 3pm at UNC Wilmington.