CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — The U.S. Marine Corps is attempting to contact approximately 500,000 people who lived and worked at Camp Lejeune, N.C., to warn them about drinking water contaminated by a commercial drycleaner near the base’s main gate and a vehicle maintenance and body shop on the base.
The Marine Corps is circulating flyers to bases across the globe in an effort to track down the military personnel and civilians who lived at Camp Lejeune between November 1957 and February 1987, according to Stars and Stripes.
“We’ve started using different venues to reach different populations in different areas,” Capt. Amy Malugani, Marine Corps spokesperson, told the newspaper, adding that the Department of the Navy has spent nearly $10 million on outreach campaigns.
Scientists in 1982 discovered the degreaser tricholoroethylene, or TCE, and the drycleaning solvent perchloroethylene in drinking water at two housing areas on the base. The contaminated wells supplied drinking water to the housing complexes until 1985.
Officials say approximately 1,400 legal claims seeking a total of $33 billion are pending in connection with the contamination.