However, the discovery of water contamination at Camp Lejeune isn’t a new development. This guide will cover the general history of the topic, as well as providing information to victims and their families regarding how they may potentially seek compensation if they developed illnesses as a result of being stationed, working, or living at the site.
Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune: A Timeline
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, is a military training facility that’s been in use since 1941. Unfortunately, we now know that between the years of 1957 and 1987, those stationed at Camp Lejeune (along with their families who lived with them, and others who worked at the facility) may have consumed or been exposed to toxins in their drinking water.
Major developments in the history of Camp Lejeune’s water contamination include:
- 1980-82: Water sources at Camp Lejeune had been contaminated for decades before officials first became aware of said contamination. Between the years of 1980 and 1982, the Marine Corps took samples of Camp Lejeune’s drinking water to test it for the presence of chemicals. These tests were conducted in accordance with EPA standards. Initial tests revealed evidence suggesting the presence of chemicals that interfered with test results. Further testing revealed the water contained high levels of certain harmful chemicals and compounds.
- 1982-84: The results of the tests conducted between 1980 and 1982 told the Marine Corps that drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated. They did not provide information about the full extent of the contamination. Thus, between the years of 1982 and 1984, the Navy was tasked with investigating the matter.
- 1985-87: After the Navy conducted its investigation, the federal government initiated the process of shutting down the most contaminated water sources at Camp Lejeune. This was a complex process that lasted through 1987.
- 1990: The Marine Corps had been aware of water contamination at Camp Lejeune for nearly a decade by 1990. However, it wasn’t until 1990 that the Marine Corps began informing those who may have been affected by said contamination of its findings.
Since 1990, various lawsuits have been filed, bringing further attention to the issue of Camp Lejeune’s water contamination. The passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act last August has finally established a standardized method for victims and their families to seek compensation for medical bills and other such losses they may have incurred due to health issues arising as a result of drinking or otherwise being exposed to the toxic water.